Residential property in a multi‐asset portfolio context has been considered from two substantially different perspectives: institutional investor's and the household's perspective. This paper constitutes the first of two related surveys on the role of residential property in a multi‐asset portfolio. The paper provides an introduction to housing property investment at a macro level and reviews the main empirical issues related to housing investment in an institutional portfolio context. The literature in this regard generally supports the evidence that residential property is a more effective hedge against inflation than both shares and bonds. Additionally, the reviewed studies generally report that unsecuritised housing investment not only generates risk‐adjusted returns comparable to those of bonds and shares, but also exhibits low levels of correlation with classic asset groups of institutional portfolios.
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