Improving strategic decisions for real estate investors : Perspectives on allocation and management

Abstract: Real estate is an attractive asset class in the mixed-asset portfolio due to favorable risk return characteristics and low correlations with other asset classes like stock and bonds. Unlike financial assets, real estate is a physical asset where large lot sizes/indivisibility, heterogeneity, low liquidity and high transaction costs make applying financial models like modern portfolio theory (MPT) challenging. Optimal allocations to real estate found in literature are generally lower than actual allocations by investors and portfolio managers indicating there are aspects of the application of MPT to real estate that are not fully understood. Since management of real estate is costly and requires expert skills, the question on whether to outsource property management functions is of paramount interest for the real estate industry.The aim of the thesis is to contribute to the literature on strategic decisions for real estate investors on allocation and management, Apart from reviewing literature relevant for strategic decisions at different levels and using a top-down approach to illustrate how selected allocation and management decisions are connected, four separate empirical studies are made to investigate the nature of selected strategic decisions for real estate investors.