Buy High, Sell Low: Corporate Investors in the Office Market



Commercial real estate transactions by corporations are matched with transactions of comparable assets by noninstitutional investors to evaluate outcomes resulting from corporate investment policy. Corporations invest in long-term assets at a significant premium estimated relative to fundamental values. Divestiture is at a significant discount. Differences in operating performance fail to explain this outcome. Instead, corporate investors value commercial property differently than noninstitutional investors. Valuation differences contribute to overpayment during periods of expansion and liquidation during contraction. Corporate sellers also exhibit a high degree of impatience with significantly reduced marketing periods.