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Are REITs a Distinct Asset Class?

19 Pages Posted: 10 May 2017 Last revised: 19 Oct 2017

Jared Kizer

Buckingham Asset Management, LLC

Sean Grover

Georgetown University McDonough School of Business

Date Written: October 18, 2017

Abstract

Real estate investment trusts (REITs) are often considered to be a distinct asset class. But, do REITs deserve this designation? While exact definitions for asset class vary, a number of statistical methods can provide strong evidence either for or against the suitability of the designation. The authors step back from the established real estate and REITs literature and answer this broader question. Beginning with a set of asset class criteria, the authors then utilize a variety of statistical methods from the literature and factor-based asset pricing to evaluate REITs for their candidacy as a distinct asset class. REITs fail to satisfy almost all of the relevant criteria leading the authors to conclude that REITs, in fact, are not a distinct asset class but do deserve a market capitalization weighted allocation in a diversified investment portfolio.

Keywords: REIT, asset class, factor model

JEL Classification: G11, G12, R30

Suggested Citation

Kizer, Jared and Grover, Sean, Are REITs a Distinct Asset Class? (October 18, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2965146

Jared Kizer (Contact Author)

Buckingham Asset Management, LLC ( email )

8182 Maryland Avenue Suite 500
St. Louis, MO
United States

Sean Grover

Georgetown University McDonough School of Business ( email )

37th and O Streets NW
Washington, DC 20057
United States

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