Asset Location, Timing Ability, and the Cross-Section of Commercial Real Estate Returns
53 Pages Posted: 5 Jan 2017 Last revised: 5 May 2018
Date Written: April 1, 2018
This study examines the sensitivity of equity REIT returns to time-varying MSA allocations of REIT property portfolios. Using a large sample of individual commercial property holdings, we find significant cross-sectional and time variation in REIT geographic exposures and the ability of these exposures to explain the cross-section of REIT returns. Importantly, the pattern of MSA exposure effects changes quickly as local market information is incorporated into property values both across MSAs and over time. We further find evidence consistent with REIT managers being able, on average, to both identify MSAs that will outperform in the following year and overcome the costs and delays associated with increasing allocations to these MSAs. This ability to time allocation decisions is most prevalent in non-Gateway markets and varies significantly across MSAs and over time. Furthermore, financially flexible firms with a larger platform and experience owning and operating properties in multiple markets are better positioned to quickly act on investment opportunities they identify in major MSAs. In contrast, the ability to time market exit is more highly correlated with a firm’s perceived growth options and investment opportunities.
Keywords: real estate investment trusts, private commercial real estate, asset location, market timing, portfolio allocation, return performance
JEL Classification: G11, G12, G23, L25, R33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation