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The impact of lease structures on the optimal holding period for a commercial real estate portfolio

Charles-Olivier Amédée-Manesme (Department of Finance, Insurance and Real Estate, Laval University, Québec, Canada.)
Michel Baroni (Department of Finance, ESSEC Business School, Cergy-Pontoise, France.)
Fabrice Barthélémy (Department of Economics, CEMOTEV, Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, Guyancourt, France.)
Mahdi Mokrane (Department of Strategy & Research, LaSalle Investment Management, London, United Kingdom.)

Journal of Property Investment & Finance

ISSN: 1463-578X

Article publication date: 2 March 2015




The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the impact of lease duration and lease break options on the optimal holding period for a real estate asset or portfolio.


The authors use a Monte Carlo simulation framework to simulate a real estate asset’s cash flows in which lease structures (rent, indexation pattern, overall lease duration and break options) are explicitly taken into account. The authors assume that a tenant exercises his/her option to break a lease if the rent paid is higher than the market rental value (MRV) of similar properties. The authors also model vacancy duration stochastically. Finally, capital values and MRVs, assumed to be correlated, are simulated using specific stochastic processes. The authors derive the optimal holding period for the asset as the value that maximizes its discounted value.


The authors demonstrate that, consistent with existing capital markets literature and real estate business practice, break options in leases can dramatically alter optimal holding periods for real estate assets and, by extension, portfolios. The paper shows that, everything else being equal, shorter lease durations, higher MRV volatility, increasing negative rental reversion, higher vacancy duration, more break options, all tend to decrease the optimal holding period of a real estate asset. The converse is also true.

Practical implications

Practitioners are offered insights as well as a practical methodology for determining the ex-ante optimal holding period for an asset or a portfolio based on a number of market and asset-specific parameters including the lease structure.


The originality of the paper derives from its taking an explicit modelling approach to lease duration and lease breaks as additional sources of asset-specific risk alongside market risk. This is critical in real estate portfolio management because such specific risk is usually difficult to diversify.



The authors wish to thank the University of Cergy-Pontoise and Fondation Palladio for their generous support.


Amédée-Manesme, C.-O., Baroni, M., Barthélémy, F. and Mokrane, M. (2015), "The impact of lease structures on the optimal holding period for a commercial real estate portfolio", Journal of Property Investment & Finance, Vol. 33 No. 2, pp. 121-139.



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Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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