Real estate portfolio size and risk reduction
Devaney, S. and Lee, S. L., (2005) Real estate portfolio size and risk reduction. Working Papers in Real Estate & Planning. 24/05. Working Paper. University of Reading, Reading. pp11.
The reduction of portfolio risk is important to all investors but is particularly important to real estate investors as most property portfolios are generally small. As a consequence, portfolios are vulnerable to a significant risk of under-performing the market, or a target rate of return and so investors may be exposing themselves to greater risk than necessary. Given the potentially higher risk of underperformance from owning only a few properties, we follow the approach of Vassal (2001) and examine the benefits of holding more properties in a real estate portfolio. Using Monte Carlo simulation and the returns from 1,728 properties in the IPD database, held over the 10-year period from 1995 to 2004, the results show that increases in portfolio size offers the possibility of a more stable and less volatile return pattern over time, i.e. down-side risk is diminished with increasing portfolio size. Nonetheless, increasing portfolio size has the disadvantage of restricting the probability of out-performing the benchmark index by a significant amount. In other words, although increasing portfolio size reduces the down-side risk in a portfolio, it also decreases its up-side potential. Be that as it may, the results provide further evidence that portfolios with large numbers of properties are always preferable to portfolios of a smaller size.