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The short-run dynamics of Australian real estate investment trusts and direct real estate at the subsector level

James Giannarelli (Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia)
Piyush Tiwari (Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia)

Journal of Property Investment & Finance

ISSN: 1463-578X

Article publication date: 1 December 2020

Issue publication date: 21 June 2021

248

Abstract

Purpose

This paper examines the extent of the short-run relationship between Australian real estate investment trusts (A-REITs) and direct real estate returns on both a commercial property sector and a prime and secondary grade basis, i.e. a subsector basis.

Design/methodology/approach

Two-step methodology is used. First, we identify the dynamic interdependencies between A-REITs and each commercial property subsector to determine whether the returns of A-REITs lead each subsector or vice versa. Second, short-run deviations between these asset returns are estimated by measuring their individual response behaviours to changes in key economic and financial market factors that are expected to influence these returns.

Findings

Results suggest that each subsector shares a unique relationship to A-REITs, given each prime and secondary grade commercial property return series varies in behaviour. Some property subsector returns can be predicted by movements in A-REIT returns, whereas returns for others move independent to changes in A-REITs. Similarly, some subsectors commove with A-REITs in response to changes in certain market factors, whereas others diverge. As such, these findings have practical significance to fund managers and portfolio selection, as each commercial subsector embodies its own exposure to A-REITs and vulnerabilities to market forces. Subsectors that commove with A-REITs in response to certain market forces may be used as substitutes in a portfolio. Alternatively, subsectors that diverge from A-REITs in response to market forces may offer diversification benefits when combined.

Practical implications

These findings extend beyond existing research to offer critical decision-making guidance at the acquisition level, as fund managers may more closely consider the impact that prime or secondary grade properties within a given commercial sector may have on a portfolio that consists of public and private Australian real estate. Ultimately, a more informed acquisition may be carried out as consideration of a property's asset grade allows for a deeper insight into the property's risk profile and its anticipated short-run impact on a portfolio.

Originality/value

This paper extends previous studies that focus mostly on aggregate or sector-level returns by measuring REIT and real estate dynamics at the subsector level, allowing for practical significance at not only the portfolio level but crucially at the acquisition level, a pivotal decision-making stage for fund managers. This is also the first paper to study REIT and real estate causality and response patterns to changes in market factors at the Australian sector level.

Keywords

Citation

Giannarelli, J. and Tiwari, P. (2021), "The short-run dynamics of Australian real estate investment trusts and direct real estate at the subsector level", Journal of Property Investment & Finance, Vol. 39 No. 4, pp. 383-407. https://doi.org/10.1108/JPIF-08-2020-0088

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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