Time-Varying Betas of US REITs from 1972 to 2013
35 Pages Posted: 25 Jun 2008 Last revised: 26 Dec 2014
Date Written: December 26, 2014
This study estimates the time-varying REIT betas using a structural time series model using monthly REIT return data for the periods from 1972 to 2013. Based on the FTSE-NAREIT return indices for the equity REIT (EREIT) and mortgage REIT (MREIT), we found corroborative evidence of the temporal declines in the betas of the two REITs up to 1999. The time-varying beta characteristics of the two REIT betas are fundamentally different in the 2000s. While the MREIT betas continued to decline, the EREIT betas showed a sharp reversal to the downward trend. Coinciding with the low interest regime in the US, EREITs use more external debt to fund new acquisitions and development activities, and as a result, the EREIT betas increased sharply in 2000s. The EREIT data hit the peak in 2009; and EREIT beta declined thereafter when active deleveraging occurred in the market. Using firm level data, we constructed two leverage-sorted EREIT portfolios, and our empirical results do not rejected the leverage effects on time-varying EREIT betas. However, the leverage effect in our tests is not triggered by the declines in stock prices as proposed in the finance literature.
Keywords: Time-varying beta, Systematic Risk, Leverage Effects, Deleveraging, Equity REITs and Mortgage REITs
JEL Classification: G12
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation