This paper investigates the risk incurred in UK property investment by the major investing institutions. The historic variability of investment returns from property is compared with that from long dated British government bonds (gilts) and ordinary shares (equities) using data from the JLW Property Index.1 A variety of definitions of risk are examined in order to assess the relative risk of property, considered both in isolation and as an integral part of the overall institutional portfolio. The investigation concludes that, since the late 1960s, property has involved significantly less risk than either of the two alternative investments.
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