We estimate total returns to rental housing by studying over 170,000 hand-collected archival observations of prices and rents for individual houses in Paris (1809–1943) and Amsterdam (1900–1979). The annualized real total return, net of costs and taxes, is 4.0% for Paris and 4.8% for Amsterdam and entirely comes from rental yields. Our returns weakly correlate with the implied returns in Jordà et al. (2019) and are substantially lower. We decompose total return risk at the individual asset level and find that yield risk becomes an increasingly important component of property-level risk for longer investment horizons.
- g11 - "Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions"
- g12 - "Asset Pricing; Trading volume; Bond Interest Rates"
- n20 - Economic History: Financial Markets and Institutions: General, International, or Comparative
- r30 - Real Estate Markets, Production Analysis, and Firm Location: General
- HOUSE PRICES