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Convergence in the UK direct real estate market

Stephen Lee (Cass Business School, City University of London, London, UK)

Journal of Property Investment & Finance

ISSN: 1463-578X

Article publication date: 3 July 2017




The purpose of this paper is to empirically examine the issue of convergence in the monthly returns, rental growth and yields for ten market segments in the UK direct real estate market, using monthly data over the period from January 1987 to December 2014.


The methodology used to determine convergence is principal component analysis as it provides an assessment of the extent to which the variance of the market segments can be represented by a single common factor, explaining their long-run behaviour, and the degree of independence between the market segments.


The results suggest that there is strong evidence of convergence over the entire sample period in relation to monthly returns and yields but less evidence of convergence in rental growth, which confirms the findings in previous studies in international markets.

Practical implications

The evidence also suggests that convergence has increased over the sample period and that convergence is period specific and was particularly strong during and after the period of the Global Financial Crisis, which implies that the UK direct real estate market is largely integrated and as a consequence the extent of diversification potential in the market is still severely limited.

Social implications

The convergence in returns has crucial implications for investors as it leaves investors exposed to the same structural shocks and so magnifies the importance of volatility spillover effects, limits their ability to create well-diversified portfolios and make it more difficult for fund managers to outperform the market.


This is the first paper to examine the convergence in the UK direct real estate market.



Lee, S. (2017), "Convergence in the UK direct real estate market", Journal of Property Investment & Finance, Vol. 35 No. 4, pp. 382-396.



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