Drivers of fund performance: a panel data analysis
The principle aim of this research is to elucidate the factors driving the total rate of return of non-listed funds using a panel data analytical framework. In line with previous results, we find that core funds exhibit lower yet more stable returns than value-added and, in particular, opportunistic funds, both cross-sectionally and over time. After taking into account overall market exposure, as measured by weighted market returns, the excess returns of value-added and opportunity funds are likely to stem from: high leverage, high exposure to development, active asset management and investment in specialized property sectors. A random effects estimation of the panel data model largely confirms the findings obtained from the fixed effects model. Again, the country and sector property effect shows the strongest significance in explaining total returns. The stock market variable is negative which hints at switching effects between competing asset classes. For opportunity funds, on average, the returns attributable to gearing are three times higher than those for value added funds and over five times higher than for core funds. Overall, there is relatively strong evidence indicating that country and sector allocation, style, gearing and fund size combinations impact on the performance of unlisted real estate funds.