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The consensus that emerges from the current research on the linkage between securitized and direct investment in real estate is that direct (private) real estate returns play a relatively minor role in the real estate investment trust (REIT) return generating process. However, this result may at least partially be due to the coarseness of the measures of direct real estate returns or the relatively short return horizons used in previous studies. This study takes a different and unique perspective. Unlike earlier studies we do not use aggregated, average appraisal based returns on direct real estate investment. Instead, we use the MIT TBI indexes, which are transaction based price indexes, available both on the aggregate and sub-index levels. We find that the relation between REIT and direct real estate returns appears to be stronger at longer horizons. More specifically, using a cointegration framework, we find robust evidence that REITs and the underlying real estate are related and that they share a long run equilibrium. Interestingly, we find that both REITs and direct real estate returns adjust towards this long run relationship. When we examine property type level data we find similar results.


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© Springer. Final version published as: Boudry, W. I., Coulson, N. E., Kallberg, J. G., & Liu, C. H. (2012). On the hybrid nature of REITs. Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, 44(1/2), 230-249. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.