REIT Economies of Scale: Fact or Fiction?

Brent W. Ambrose, Steven R. Ehrlich, William T. Hughes, Susan M. Wachter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations

Abstract

The real estate industry has recently witnessed significant and pervasive consolidation with further growth and consolidation generally viewed as inevitable. For example, between 1990 and 1997, growth in average net real estate investments by large REITs outpaced growth in average net real estate investments by small REITs by 13 percent. However, no systematic study of the benefits of this consolidation exists. This research studies whether or not there are gains to consolidation due to economies of scale from size, brand imaging, and informational gains from geographic specialization. Our sample consists of 41 multifamily equity REITs, for whom financial and property level data are available in the SNL REIT Database. Using this data, we construct shadow portfolios that mimic each REIT's exposure to changes in local market conditions. Our results show no size economies, that branding in real estate is allusive, and that geographic specialization, in agreement with Gyourko and Nelling (1996), has no significant benefit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)211-224
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Real Estate Finance and Economics
Volume20
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Urban Studies

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