The changing relationships between government bond yields and capitalisation rates: Evidence from the UK, USA and Australia

Colin Jones*, Neil Dunse, Kevin Cutsforth

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
2148 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to analyse the gap between government bonds (index-linked and long-dated) and real estate yields/capitalization rates over time for the UK, Australia and the USA. The global financial crisis was a sharp shock to real estate markets, and while interest rates and government bond yields fell in response around the world, real estate yields (cap rates) have risen. Design/methodology/approach – The absolute yield gap levels and their variation over time in the different countries are compared and linked to the theoretical reasons for the yield gap and, in particular, a changing real estate risk premium. Within this context, it assesses whether there have been structural breaks in long-term relationships during booms and busts based on autoregressive conditionally heteroscedastic (ARCH) models. Finally, the paper provides further insights by constructing statistical models of index-linked and long-dated yield gaps. Findings – The relationships between bond and property yields go through a traumatic time around the period of the global financial crisis. These changes are sufficiently strong to be statistically defined as “structural breaks” in the time series. The sudden switch in the yield gaps may have stimulated a greater appreciation of structural change in the property market. Research limitations/implications – The research focuses on the most transparent real estate markets in the world, but other countries with less developed markets may respond differently. Practical implications – The practical implications relate to how to value real estate yields relative to interest rates. Originality/value – This is the first paper that has compared international yield gaps over time and examined the role of the gap between index-linked government bonds and real estate yields.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-171
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of European Real Estate Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Australia
  • Global financial crisis
  • Government bond yields
  • UK
  • USA
  • Yield gaps

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Finance
  • Accounting


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