August 10, 2020

New York City-Dwellers Set Sights on a New Prized Penthouse: The Suburbs

Unison looks into moving trends during COVID-19, specifically from Manhattan to the NYC suburbs. The findings confirm that suburban housing markets are persevering better than their adjacent urban areas.

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June 4, 2020

Common Questions on California Hazard Insurance

Phil Suess

We’re once again approaching fire season in California. While rain in April and May brought a slight reprieve, rainfall was not enough to compensate for one of the driest starts to a year on record. The combination of drought conditions and Covid-19, which makes convening firefighters in large groups challenging, has officials worried, and homeowners questioning how wildfires may affect their home insurance. We've assembled a list of a few common questio...

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April 1, 2020

Historic Turmoil and US Residential Real Estate Performance

The recent eruption of Covid-19 onto the world stage has brought about significant turmoil within financial markets, as well as other asset classes traditionally deemed to be non-correlated. Residential real estate can provide a repository of shelter for investors due to the low correlation exhibited by this asset class, especially during market corrections when the general level of correlation between asset classes rises.

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September 18, 2019

The Shape of the Yield Curve and Home Price Returns

An inverted yield curve is a negative indicator for stock returns, prompting risk aversion among market participants. As shown in the chart below, stocks perform poorly in environments of inverted yield curves. Housing on the other hand has not demonstrated a statistically significant relationship between the slope of the yield curve and returns.

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September 16, 2019

Managing the Risk of Home Volatility

In the U.S., we generally consider homes a bedrock investment. They’re a key anchor of many Americans' financial portfolios - and, increasingly, their retirement plans. But is that wise? The index shows that the long run average annualized volatility of home price appreciation has been approximately 15% per year since 2000

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January 4, 2019

An Asset Class that Deserves a Home: Residential Real Estate

Residential real estate is the largest asset class in the world, and is an invaluable hedge asset for investors with inflation-exposed liabilities. Home Ownership Investments are equity investments in individual homes made alongside the owner—they provide an efficient and scalable way to access a diversified housing portfolio. Unlike other inflation hedges, such as TIPS, the return potential of these investments is in line with many institutional investors’ nominal and real return objectives.

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April 26, 2018

Residential Real Estate within an LDI Approach to Investing

An LDI approach to investing necessitates looking at a pension’s assets exclusively from the lens of how they fare relative to the scope, size, and nature of a plan’s liabilities. Given the risk exposures of a typical pension plan, a residential real estate investment that is akin to a home ownership investment could be a reasonable and prudent addition to a typical asset mix.

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October 25, 2017

Home Analytics Part 1: Long Run Returns

In this Home Analytics series, we will develop a toolbox of statistical methods to help analyze the home as a financial asset. We begin by estimating expected risk, returns, and correlation to other asset classes. Later, we will explore applications of our estimates as they related to the financial decisions of households, investors and the public sector.

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May 30, 2017

Are your nest eggs all in one basket? Managing concentration risk in personal wealth

The “optimal” investment portfolio for an individual will be dependent on a multitude of factors, such as the person’s age, salary, liquidity needs, specific financial goals, and risk tolerance. These unique, individual circumstances should dictate the asset allocation that will create an effective long-term plan for personal wealth management.

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April 5, 2017

When you invest in real estate funds, fees matter.

Real estate investment opportunities that reduce the potential for fees to chip away at returns should be considered as an attractive method to avoid the risk that fees and costs associated with maintaining assets erode returns (fees such as leasing fees, maintenance/repair, property taxes, vacancies etc.).

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March 8, 2017

Sunshine and residential real estate

Can a price be put on the pleasure of enjoying a mild winter’s day? To answer this question, we turned to residential real estate prices, as a measure of how much people were willing to pay to live in a sunnier location.

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January 20, 2017

The Devil is in the details: risk and return in residential real estate

Residential real estate equity is one of the largest asset classes in the United States and is a significant proportion of the average household’s net worth. We study how diversified real estate indices lead to a dramatic understatement of the median homeowner’s portfolio risk (by a factor of 4-5x). Finally, we explore the value of an investable and diversified residential real estate index from the perspective of an institutional investor.

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January 20, 2017

Why institutional investors need to invest in residential real estate

With over $71 trillion USD in AUM, institutional investment is a core driver of the global economy. Institutional entities have the common objective of generating cash flows capable of fulfilling future obligations. These obligations fluctuate with respect to economic factors such as interest rates, inflation, and unemployment rates. The compounding nature of investment returns means that significantly more capital is required to fulfill a short-term obligation versus a longer term one.

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