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Modelling uncertain operational cash flows of real estate investments using simulations of stochastic processes

Andreas Pfnür (Department of Law and Economics, TU Darmstadt, Darmstadt, Germany)
Stefan Armonat (Department of Law and Economics, TU Darmstadt, Darmstadt, Germany)

Journal of Property Investment & Finance

ISSN: 1463-578X

Article publication date: 2 August 2013

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to apply a numerical simulation of stochastic processes to the problem of real estate investment appraisal.

Design/methodology/approach

These uncertain operating costs are integrated into an enhanced dynamic simulation. To model the dynamics in the uncertainty of the cost schedule, a range of different types of stochastic processes is used. The operating costs are classified by cost drivers and an appropriate stochastic process is determined for each of the derived cost clusters. To optimise the capital structure in this application, heuristic optimisation with genetic algorithms is used.

Findings

The application of the model to real world investment situations shows that linear and deterministic modelling underestimates the risk‐generating effect of uncertain operating expenses, which often can lead to inefficient investment decisions.

Practical implications

In a further application of the model, the authors demonstrate the effect of uncertain operating costs on the optimal capital structure of real estate investments.

Originality/value

In contrast to models in the literature that are usually focussed on the income side, here the focus is on the uncertain dynamics of real estate operating costs as a key factor affecting return.

Keywords

Citation

Pfnür, A. and Armonat, S. (2013), "Modelling uncertain operational cash flows of real estate investments using simulations of stochastic processes", Journal of Property Investment & Finance, Vol. 31 No. 5, pp. 481-501. https://doi.org/10.1108/JPIF-12-2012-0061

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited