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Liquidity in commercial property markets: deconstructing the transaction process

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Crosby, N. and McAllister, P., (2004) Liquidity in commercial property markets: deconstructing the transaction process. Working Papers in Real Estate & Planning. 07/04. Working Paper. University of Reading, Reading. pp25.

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Abstract/Summary

This paper draws from a wider research programme in the UK undertaken for the Investment Property Forum examining liquidity in commercial property. One aspect of liquidity is the process by which transactions occur including both how properties are selected for sale and the time taken to transact. The paper analyses data from three organisations; a property company, a major financial institution and an asset management company, formally a major public sector pension fund. The data covers three market states and includes sales completed in 1995, 2000 and 2002 in the UK. The research interviewed key individuals within the three organisations to identify any common patterns of activity within the sale process and also identified the timing of 187 actual transactions from inception of the sale to completion. The research developed a taxonomy of the transaction process. Interviews with vendors indicated that decisions to sell were a product of a combination of portfolio, specific property and market based issues. Properties were generally not kept in a “readiness for sale” state. The average time from first decision to sell the actual property to completion had a mean time of 298 days and a median of 190 days. It is concluded that this study may underestimate the true length of the time to transact for two reasons. Firstly, the pre-marketing period is rarely recorded in transaction files. Secondly, and more fundamentally, studies of sold properties may contain selection bias. The research indicated that vendors tended to sell properties which it was perceived could be sold at a ‘fair’ price in a reasonable period of time.

Item Type:Report (Working Paper)
Divisions:Henley Business School > Real Estate and Planning
ID Code:21494
Publisher:University of Reading
Publisher Statement:The copyright of each working paper remains with the author. If you wish to quote from or cite any paper please contact the appropriate author; in some cases a more recent version of the paper may have been published elsewhere.

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