The Inflation-Hedging Effectiveness of Real Estate
Jack H. Rubens
Michael T. Bond
James R. Webb
Journal of Real Estate Research,
Inflation has become one of the predominant financial concerns of the late twentieth century. In the late 1970s, public opinion polls ranked inflation as the number one problem in the United States. While the rate of inflation has slowed since the late 1970s, inflation is still present and many investors expect a resurgence of inflation to higher levels in the near to immediate future. This continued concern about inflation has led to an increased search and evaluation of investments that will protect investors from inflation. Assets that have the ability to protect investors from the effects of inflation are generally labeled inflation hedges. Real estate has been regarded as one of the best inflation hedges of past years. While there has been research in the past evaluating this possibility and some recent research using only business real estate, no current research on residential real estate or farmland as inflation hedges exists. This study examines the inflation-hedging effectiveness of residential real estate, farmland, and business real estate (with a different data set) as individual assets and in a portfolio context for 1960-86.