Capital growth falls to lowest level since GFC, Inrev says

The INREV Quarterly Fund Index Q4 2022 reveals a significant downturn in performance, as real estate prices adjust to reflect the weaker economic environment, with capital growth falling to the lowest level recorded since the global financial crisis (GFC).

Capital growth fell sharply to -7.24%, a quarter-on-quarter decline of -523 bps, the lowest level recorded since the global financial crisis (GFC).

European non-listed real estate delivered a total return of -6.19% in the fourth quarter. The speed of correction has been abrupt and synchronised across markets, although levels of decline vary from one geography to another.

UK leads the correction once again
With -11.96%, the UK displayed the weakest total return for the second consecutive quarter, bringing the total correction since Q2 2022 to -16.21%. The Netherlands and France also registered notably weaker Q4 performances at -5.36% and -4.17%, respectively, with quarter-on-quarter declines of 469 bps and 281 bps. Meanwhile, Germany reported a slower 139 bps decline to -2.97%, down from -1.38% in Q3 2022.

Industrial/logistics continues its decline in performance
With sectors, there is less dispersion in performance compared to countries, albeit the differences are still notable. The industrial/logistics sector saw a further decline in performance to reach -10.68% in Q4 2022, down from -4.13% in the previous quarter. Relatively high pricing as well as weaker rental growth expectations drove this sharp deterioration, leaving the sector as the weakest performing for the second quarter in a row.

Meanwhile, retail outperformed the wider market with a more modest negative return of -2.78%. Structural headwinds have brought strong value declines in recent years, hence the impact of the current downturn is less prominent as yields are already relatively high.

Total return for residential dipped to -3.58% in Q4, close to that of offices at -3.74%. However, strong fundamentals such as the structural imbalance between supply and demand and thus its greater potential as an inflation hedge should continue to support the residential sector.
The sharp industrial/logistics correction described earlier is evident across all main markets, accelerating in Q4 2022. The deterioration of the Q4 UK and Dutch office performance, as well as UK retail, is also very sharp, in all cases it feel below -8%.

Reduced European real estate liquidity
At just over €121 bn, the European real estate market experienced a significant (-47%) decline in H2 2022 transaction activity compared to the same period a year earlier, and more than -20% compared to the recent six-month average, according to the latest MSCI Real Assets data.

Offices demonstrate an above-average decline in deal volume, a -23% drop in relation to the six-month average over the last four years. On a positive note, the equivalent drop for industrial/logistics is a more moderate -12.5%.

INREV Consensus Indicator Survey revealed that investment sentiment is starting to stabilise for the first time since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, albeit still down significantly. It may be a very early sign that there is a broad consensus on the magnitude and speed of the correction.

Iryna Pylypchuk, INREV’s director of Research and Market said: ‘This quarter’s findings show a clear picture of the steepest decline in performance since the GFC and a correction that’s well underway and evident across all markets, with the UK in the lead. Investors have been expecting a correction, but the more rapid and abrupt repricing we see in the Q4 2022 numbers is welcome news for our asset class. Until we see stability return to the geopolitical environment, ECB forecasts suggest inflation will remain high and further interest rate hikes are expected, leaving downward pressure on performance as we look ahead into 2023. A bifurcation and varying degrees of risk in different market segments are the key risks, as well as a mispricing opportunities in 2023.’


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