EU listed property beat US for returns in 2019 - EPRA report

Listed real estate in Europe racked up better overall returns than in the US in 2019, in what has been described as a ‘stellar’ year for the sector.

New research by the European Public Real Estate Association (EPRA) found listed real estate (LRE) equities on the 'old continent' returned 29.7% last year, compared to US LRE, which returned 26.8% in the same period.

Meanwhile, Asia LRE posted an annual return of 19.3%.

Leading the strong performance was the Nordics, said the trade body. LRE in Finland returned 67.7% last year, while Sweden returned 48.2%, thanks in part to the image of the Nordics as a safe haven amid international uncertainty.

Elsewhere, the UK posted above-average returns of 30.6%, in a rollercoaster year that ended with the market experiencing a short 'Brelief' bounce, following the election victory for the Conservative party.

By sector, self-storage (59.3%), healthcare (56.6%) and industrial (54.1%) were outperformers in Europe, followed by industrial/office, lodging/resort and office, which returned 49.8%, 43.5% and 41.9% respectively.

Dilek Pekdemir, research manager at EPRA, said: ‘Listed real estate provided investors with positive returns in all the major markets, but the European listed sector really shone this year. Innovation and solid business management has led to amazing growth in the region and the asset class should be a focus for any balanced portfolio.

‘Low interest rates and hawkish sentiment from the major central banks has played a major role in the increasing interest in LRE, globally. Values in LRE equities have sky-rocketed this year as the global market recognises the strength and consistency of returns on offer in the asset class.’

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