Global Property Market Diversification

John G. Gallo and Ying Zhang

Online First™, 14 April 2009

Abstract

This paper examines global diversification benefits provided by developed property markets over 1992–2007. We employ a cointegration methodology, invariant to pair-wise correlational instability plaguing MPT approaches, to investigate regional and country property market diversification benefits for U.S. domiciled global real estate investors. We show, theoretically and empirically, the cointegration procedure aptly identifies markets integrated by common trends that mitigate diversification potential. We show global property markets are interregionally independent but find intraregional market cointegration. A portfolio of markets independent of cointegrating relationships performs best during the period but is insufficiently diversified relative to a cointegrated portfolio. Independent country markets do account for the bulk of global property diversification gains but cointegrated markets, particularly from the North American and Asia Pacific regions, retain some diversifying qualities. We also show cointegrated markets converge toward benchmark characteristics, reducing their attraction as portfolio candidates.Keywords  Diversification – Real Estate – Global – Portfolio – Cointegration

Paper was written and submitted while both authors were at the University of Texas at Arlington.
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