The Dynamics of Asset Prices and Transaction Activity in Illiquid Markets: The Case of Private Commercial Real Estate
This paper investigates the relationship between capital flows, turnover and returns for the UK private real estate market. We examine a number of possible implication of capital flows and turnover on capital returns testing for evidence of a price pressure effect, ‘return chasing’ behaviour and information revelation. The main tool of analysis is a panel vector autoregressive (VAR) regression model in which institutional capital flows, turnover and returns are specified as endogenous variables in a two equation system in which we also control for macro-economic variables. Data on flows, turnover and returns are obtained for the 10 market segments covering the main UK commercial real estate sectors. Our results do not support the widely-held belief among practitioners that capital flows have a ‘price pressure’ effect. Although there is some evidence of return chasing behaviour, the short timescales involved suggest this finding may be due to delayed recording of flows relative to returns given the difficulties of market entry. We find a significant positive relationship between lagged turnover and contemporaneous capital returns, suggesting that asset turnover provides pricing information.
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