Historic analysis of the inflation hedging properties of stocks has produced anomalous results, with stocks often appearing to offer a perverse hedge. This has been attributed to the impact of real and monetary shocks to the economy, which influence both inflation and asset returns. It has been argued that real estate should provide a better hedge: however, empirical results have been mixed. This paper explores the relationship between commercial real estate returns and economic, fiscal and monetary factors and inflation for US and UK markets. Comparative analysis of general equity and small capitalization stock returns is carried out with inflation divided into expected and unexpected components. The analyses are undertaken using an error correction approach. In the long run, once real and monetary variables are included, asset returns are positively linked to anticipated inflation but not to inflation shocks. Adjustment processes are, however, gradual and not within period. Real estate returns, particularly private market returns, exhibit characteristics that differ from those of stocks.
The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 21, 2007
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