Changes in the relative importance of sector and regional factors: 1987-2002
Lee, S. and Devaney, S., (2004) Changes in the relative importance of sector and regional factors: 1987-2002. Working Papers in Real Estate & Planning. 05/04. Working Paper. University of Reading, Reading. pp15.
A stylised fact in the real estate portfolio diversification literature is that sector (property-type) effects are relatively more important than regional (geographical) factors in determining property returns. Thus, for those portfolio managers who follow a top-down approach to portfolio management, they should first choose in which sectors to invest and then select the best properties in each market. However, the question arises as to whether the dominance of the sector effects relative to regional effects is constant. If not property fund managers will need to take account of regional effects in developing their portfolio strategy. Using monthly data over the period 1987:1 to 2002:12 for a sample of over 1000 properties the results show that the sector-specific factors dominate the regional-specific factors for the vast majority of the time. Nonetheless, there are periods when the regional factors are of equal or greater importance than the sector effects. In particular, the sector effects tend to dominate during volatile periods of the real estate cycle; however, during calmer periods the sector and regional effects are of equal importance. These findings suggest that the sector effects are still the most important aspect in the development of an active portfolio strategy.