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German Open Ended Funds: Was there a Valuation Problem?


  • Neil Crosby

    () (Department of Real Estate & Planning, University of Reading Business School)


In late 2005, a number of German open ended funds suffered significant withdrawals by unit holders. The crisis was precipitated by a long term bear market in German property investment and the fact that these funds offered short term liquidity to unit holders but had low levels of liquidity in the fund. A more controversial suggestion was that the crisis was exacerbated by a perception that the valuations of the fund were too infrequent and inaccurate. As units are priced by reference to these valuations with no secondary market, the valuation process is central to the process. There is no direct evidence that these funds were over-valued but there is circumstantial evidence and this paper examines the indirect evidence of the process to see whether the hypothesis that valuation is an issue for the German funds holds any credibility. It also discusses whether there is a wider issue for other funds of this nature or whether it is a parochial problem confined to Germany. The conclusions are that there is reason to believe that German valuation processes make over-valuation in a recession more likely than in other countries and that more direct research into the German valuation system is required to identify the issues which need to be addressed to make the valuation system more trusted.

Suggested Citation

  • Neil Crosby, 2007. "German Open Ended Funds: Was there a Valuation Problem?," Real Estate & Planning Working Papers rep-wp2007-05, Henley Business School, Reading University.
  • Handle: RePEc:rdg:repxwp:rep-wp2007-05

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jeffrey Fisher & Dean Gatzlaff & David Geltner & Donald Haurin, 2003. "Controlling for the Impact of Variable Liquidity in Commercial Real Estate Price Indices," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 31(2), pages 269-303, June.
    2. Christina E. Bannier & Falko Fecht & Marcel Tyrell, 2008. "Open-End Real Estate Funds in Germany – Genesis and Crisis," Credit and Capital Markets, Credit and Capital Markets, vol. 41(1), pages 9-36.
    3. Neil Crosby & Anthony Lavers & John Murdoch, 1998. "Property valuation variation and the 'margin of error' in the UK," Journal of Property Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(4), pages 305-330, January.
    4. Robert Edelstein & Daniel Quan, 2006. "How Does Appraisal Smoothing Bias Real Estate Returns Measurement?," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 32(1), pages 41-60, February.
    5. Quan, Daniel C & Quigley, John M, 1991. "Price Formation and the Appraisal Function in Real Estate Markets," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 127-146, June.
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    More about this item


    Property valuation; open ended funds; Germany;

    JEL classification:

    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • L85 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Real Estate Services


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