Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to test whether the financial crisis has affected the capital structure of real estate companies in Europe and whether these impacts can be studied utilizing the variables traditionally used by the trade-off and pecking-order theories to explain the capital structure of companies. Design/methodology/approach – The study uses a fixed-effect panel regression analysis and a sample composed of companies included in the EPRA/NAREIT Europe Index. The effect of the financial crisis has been accounted for within the model by means of a dummy variable. Findings – The global financial crisis did have an impact on the capital structure of companies and the main variables traditionally used by the trade-off and pecking order theories proved to be suitable in explaining the capital structure of real estate companies. Real estate investment trusts are, on average, more leveraged than traditional real estate companies due to their special regulatory status. Research limitations/implications – The study is limited to the European market and UK companies in particular account for a large part of the sample. In addition, major regulatory differences between the various European countries are not taken into account in the model. Originality/value – Similar studies have been performed for the US and Australian market. However, the impact of the global financial crisis has not been traditionally considered in these studies.
Journal of European Real Estate Research – Emerald Publishing
Published: May 5, 2015
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