Inflation-hedging Behavior of a Securitized Real Estate Market: Empirical Evidence from Hong Kong
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Wei-han Liu, Zhefang Zhou
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International Real Estate Review
This paper examines the inflation-hedging behavior of the Hong Kong securitized real estate market between April 1986 and April 2007. The monthly series of the Hang Seng Property Index (HSPI) is selected as the proxy of the Hong Kong securitized real estate market due to its comprehensive coverage and availability of rich data. We find that the vector autoregressive forecast error method, which is introduced by Den Haan (2000), outperforms the traditional linear vector autoregressive model and vector error correction model techniques in depicting the comovement between the HSPI and inflation rate. The comovement estimates show a positive correlation between the HSPI and inflation rate in the short-term and a negative correlation in the long term which indicates that the Hong Kong securitized real estate market can serve as an inflation hedge in the short term, but becomes a perverse inflation hedge in the long run. This inflation-hedging pattern differs from those of its neighboring major East Asian markets. This study demonstrates that the inflation-hedging capability of securitized real estate is not a static issue, but rather, depends on the length of the forecast horizon.