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Research & Resources

NAREIT’s Research function encompasses three types of activity:

  • NAREIT’s staff of PhD economists conduct internal analysis on widely varying issues of interest to REIT and real estate investors, investment managers, plan sponsors, investment consultants, journalists, and others.
  • NAREIT sponsors research by respected third-party researchers including Morningstar, Wilshire Associates, and independent academic economists.
  • NAREIT keeps abreast of research conducted independently by independent academics and industry research organizations.

Among the questions addressed by NAREIT’s recent internal research are:

  • Do REITs provide exposure to the investment returns of the real estate asset class, or to the equity asset class?
  • Do REIT investments protect investors against inflation?
  • How do REIT general & administrative expenses compare with other ways of investing in real estate?
  • Do REIT executive compensation structures align the interests of REIT executives with those of investors?
  • Has REIT volatility declined significantly since the liquidity crisis of 2008-2009? How volatile are REITs?
  • Have correlations between REITs and other assets have declined significantly since the liquidity crisis? How high are REIT-stock correlations?
  • How do REIT returns compare with returns of private equity real estate funds?
  • How do listed REIT investments work with unlisted real estate investments in diversified real estate portfolios?
  • How liquid is the listed REIT market?
  • What are the reasons for outperformance by listed REITs relative to private real estate investments?

NAREIT’s sponsored research agenda has addressed several complex issues, including:

  • What is the role of REITs in Target-Date retirement investment portfolios?
  • How are optimal allocations to REITs affected by bad-tail events such as the liquidity crisis?
  • What is the role of U.S. and non-U.S. REITs in global mixed-asset portfolios?
  • What role do REITs play in Liability-Driven Investment (LDI) portfolios?

NAREIT gathers independent research on all of these topics and others, including:

  • The effects of liquidity, transparency, and governance on risk-adjusted investment returns
  • The importance of the REIT distribution requirement in maintaining capital market discipline
  • The role of access to capital markets (public equity, public debt, private equity, and private debt) in strengthening REIT performance