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Real Estate

What are the five pillars of a successful residential investment strategy?

apartment building

It is going to be a transformative decade for the living sector. Strong structurally supportive market dynamics, evolving socio-demographics and an expanding, more discerning occupier base will revolutionize existing living offers.

It will inevitably become a more globally institutionalized sector, as investors seek security of income, yield stability, rental appreciation and the desire to align portfolios with tomorrow’s world.

How does an investor create a living model fit for the future? At Nuveen Real Estate, we believe in five pillars that will principally shape the sector’s future.

How does an investor create a living model fit for the future?

Five pillars of nuveen's living strategy chart

1. User-centric focus

There is a clear need to improve the traditional consumer experience of mass-market renters via the professionalization of the leasing and property management process. And as the consumer base for rented accommodation grows, either by choice or necessity, those needs have evolved rapidly beyond an additional desire for flexibility, into experience, community and personal well-being.

Professionally managed living is at the forefront of the hospitality evolution present in rental living, with design, services and technology all embodied to focus on the consumer and improve the living experience. As such, a strong, experienced and modern operator is fundamental to a well-managed residential concept.

2. Product-driven

Design is now just as important as location and affordability. Good design ensures the appropriate unit mix and amenity provision reflect the local, target demographic, as well as the delivery of best-in-class standards of sustainability, well-being and accessibility. As consumer demands change and evolve, it is essential that design stays relevant. Better understanding can come from effective data gathering and analysis, to constantly improve the product offering.

Nine megatrends shaping the future of living chart

3. A multi-stakeholder approach to value creation

A living concept that serves the needs of all stakeholders – landlords, consumers, investors, borrowers and the society at large – will become the winning formula of the future.

Demographic and lifestyle changes continue to demand improvement in facilities, operational upgrades, professional management and more value-add services. To evolve as an institutional-grade asset class, residential property is going to require greater mutual understanding and closer co-operation between government, investors and developers.

4. Technology and innovation

At Nuveen, we see technology as a positive disruptor and enabler of change. Tenant demand for online information and digital interaction, such as virtual tours or ongoing building support services, will grow, driving greater efficiency in the sector.

As tenants become accustomed to this level of service, we expect an improvement in the quality and depth of technology’s role in the sector. We also expect changes in social norms and attitudes will increase the use of automation in greater allocations for public spaces, and potentially the physical lay-out of a building.

Investors and developers will be looking for more informed micro-level analysis, aligned to changes in consumer needs. There will be more emphasis on data-driven locational, asset and liquidity market intelligence; and arguably a shift away from some of the more traditional metrics.

5. Sustainability

It is widely recognized that to meet the objectives of the Paris Accord, all buildings will need to be net zero carbon by 2050. At Nuveen Real Estate, however, we are aiming to achieve net zero carbon in our real estate portfolio no later than 2040.

At Nuveen, there is an environmental commitment to work with partners and customers to target best-in-class environmental credentials across our whole portfolio, while incorporating thoughtful approaches to operational efficiency, including the integration of smart building technology to optimize energy efficiencies.

Residential buildings that can operate to nurture relationships are more likely to be successful as people are social animals. Creating sustainable communities, which create or reinforce a sense of community and well-being is something, we think, tenants will both value and expect going forward.

Market and megatrend context pictorial representation

Download the research paper

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The views and opinions expressed are for informational and educational purposes only as of the date of production/writing and may change without notice at any time based on numerous factors, such as market or other conditions, legal and regulatory developments, additional risks and uncertainties and may not come to pass. This material may contain “forward-looking” information that is not purely historical in nature. Such information may include, among other things, projections, forecasts, estimates of market returns, and proposed or expected portfolio composition. Any changes to assumptions that may have been made in preparing this material could have a material impact on the information presented herein by way of example. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Investing involves risk; principal loss is possible.

All information has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but its accuracy is not guaranteed. There is no representation or warranty as to the current accuracy, reliability or completeness of, nor liability for, decisions based on such information and it should not be relied on as such.

A word on risk

All investments carry a certain degree of risk and there is no assurance that an investment will provide positive performance over any period of time. Investing in municipal bonds involves risks such as interest rate risk, credit risk and market risk, including the possible loss of principal. The value of the portfolio will fluctuate based on the value of the underlying securities. There are special risks associated with investments in high yield bonds, hedging activities and the potential use of leverage. Portfolios that include lower rated municipal bonds, commonly referred to as “high yield” or “junk” bonds, which are considered to be speculative, the credit and investment risk is heightened for the portfolio. Bond insurance guarantees only the payment of principal and interest on the bond when due, and not the value of the bonds themselves, which will fluctuate with the bond market and the financial success of the issuer and the insurer. No representation is made as to an insurer’s ability to meet their commitments.

Responsible investing incorporates Environmental Social Governance (ESG) factors that may affect exposure to issuers, sectors, industries, limiting the type and number of investment opportunities available, which could result in excluding investments that perform well.

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