On the Determinants of REIT Capital Structure: Evidence from Around the World
Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Forthcoming
Posted: 11 Nov 2019
Date Written: October 30, 2019
Using a sample of REITs from twelve countries around the world, we examine the determinants of REIT capital structure. We investigate firm-specific and country-specific factors, and account for the unique legal requirements that REITs face in each country. Our results suggest that legal requirements are significant determinants of the capital structure of REITs. Specifically, we find that REITs have the highest book debt ratio in countries where they must pay out most of their operating income. This result implies that REITs prefer debt financing to equity financing. Additionally, we find that in countries with no payment requirement, but leverage restrictions, REITS have lower book leverage, which suggests that internal financing is preferred to external financing. Our findings also indicate that country-specific factors do not have significant impact on REIT leverage.
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