Swiss institutional investors hold approximately 19 per cent of their wealth in property, and the bulk of the allocation to property is housing. The financial reasons which are often given to motivate this investment strategy are twofold. First, property returns are hypothesized to be lowly correlated with the returns on stocks and bonds, and the inclusion of property in portfolios of financial assets should lead to diversification benefits. Second, property is viewed as acting as an effective hedge against inflation. Empirically investigates these two assumptions on the basis of hedonic price indices for Geneva and Zurich apartment buildings. Examines whether an investor who already holds Geneva (Zurich) housing should invest in the other canton. Investigates whether real estate mutual funds should be included in the portfolio in addition to direct real estate holdings. Results suggest that housing is an effective portfolio diversifier but does not provide any better short‐term inflation‐hedging effectiveness than financial assets.
Journal of Property Valuation and Investment – Emerald Publishing
Published: Oct 1, 1997
Keywords: Housing; Investment property; Switzerland