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The significance of residential REITs in Japan as an institutionalised property sector

Yu Cheng Lin (Department of Economic, Finance and Property, Western Sydney University, Penrith, Australia)
Chyi Lin Lee (Department of Economic, Finance and Property, Western Sydney University, Penrith, Australia)
Graeme Newell (Department of Economic, Finance and Property, Western Sydney University, Penrith, Australia)

Journal of Property Investment & Finance

ISSN: 1463-578X

Article publication date: 2 May 2019

Issue publication date: 10 June 2019

Abstract

Purpose

Residential Real Estate Investment Trusts in Japan (residential J-REITs) have become an increasingly significant listed property sector recently. The purpose of this paper is to assess the effectiveness of residential J-REITs in a mixed-asset portfolio context in Japan by assessing the significance, risk-adjusted performance and portfolio diversification benefits of residential J-REITs over July 2006–August 2018. The ongoing property investment implications for residential J-REITs are also identified.

Design/methodology/approach

Using monthly total returns, the risk-adjusted performance and portfolio diversification benefits for residential J-REITs over July 2006–August 2018 are assessed. An asset allocation diagram is employed to assess the role of residential J-REITs in a mixed-asset portfolio context in Japan.

Findings

Residential J-REITs generally delivered superior risk-adjusted returns compared with the other sub-sector J-REITs, stocks and bonds in Japan over July 2006–August 2018, with desirable portfolio diversification benefits in the full mixed-asset portfolio context. Importantly,residential J-REITs are observed as strongly contributing to the mixed-asset portfolio context in Japan across the portfolio risk spectrum, particularly in a post-GFC context. This also reflects that residential J-REITs provide high portfolio returns and strong portfolio diversification benefits in a mixed-asset portfolio context in Japan.

Practical implications

Residential J-REITs are effective and liquid residential property investment exposure in Japan. The results highlight the strong risk-adjusted performance of residential J-REITs in Japan’s mixed-asset portfolio context. This suggests institutional investors, particularly Japan institutional investors, should consider including residential J-REITs in their mixed-asset portfolios, as residential J-REITs are seen as a compelling investment product co-existing alongside the other sub-sector REITs and major asset classes in institutional investor portfolios in the context of Japan. This also confirms the effectiveness of institutionalised residential J-REITs. Given the solid residential property market fundamentals in Japan, an increased level of the institutionalisation of residential J-REITs can be expected.

Originality/value

The study is the first study to assess the effectiveness of residential J-REITs, via assessing the significance, risk-adjusted performance and portfolio diversification benefits of residential J-REITs and their role in a mixed-asset portfolio context in Japan. This research enables more informed and practical property investment decision making regarding the value-added and strategic role of residential J-REITs as effective and liquid residential property investment exposure in Japan, as well as an increasingly institutionalised property sector going forward.

Keywords

Citation

Lin, Y.C., Lee, C.L. and Newell, G. (2019), "The significance of residential REITs in Japan as an institutionalised property sector", Journal of Property Investment & Finance, Vol. 37 No. 4, pp. 363-379. https://doi.org/10.1108/JPIF-03-2019-0036

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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