Definition of "Real estate swap"

Peggy Bowden-White real estate agent

Written by

Peggy Bowden-Whiteelite badge icon

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

Transaction in which the property owner (for example, a pension fund) agrees to pay the insurance company a rate of return tied to the fluctuations in real estate prices. In return, the insurance company stipulates that it will pay the property owner a rate of return that is more predictable, such as a floating interest rate, if the insurance company believes that the depressed real estate market has an attractive potential for capital gains but has no desire to own and/or manage property. Meanwhile a pension fund owns more property than it deems prudent. The solution, through the swap, would entail the pension fund passing on to the insurance company any gains or losses generated by the property in return for the insurance company paying the pension fund a floating interest rate. This floating interest rate to be paid would be tied to a stipulated index such as the U.S. Treasury Bill rate. The result would be that the pension fund lowers its real estate portfolio to a more acceptable level, and the insurance company has increasing capital gains expectations.


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