International Diversification Strategies for Direct Real Estate

Ivo de Wit

Online First™, 26 March 2009

Abstract

This paper will disentangle the performance of international real estate into property type performance and region selection. This helps to create an international diversification strategy for direct real estate. We use constrained cross-section regression with dummy variables for regions and property types to measure the best risk reducer. We analyze the impact of currency changes on total returns by looking at a hedged and un-hedged portfolio, both stock and equally weighted. The findings show that geographic factors have the largest influence on the volatility of international real estate returns. The average variance of the regional effects is higher than the property type effects and therefore the regional effects have a higher influence on the variation of the total portfolio. However, the regional effects are less stable through time, compared with the variance and correlation of the property type effects. Also the property type effect seems to become a more important factor for the return over time, especially when the return is expressed in local currency.Keywords  International direct real estate – Diversification – Property type

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