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Perspectives in today’s real estate market

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Global research update

Our market-leading global real estate research team is working daily to assess global real estate markets and provide insights from both a long term and immediate viewpoint, taking recent coronavirus developments into account. Below are our current highlights, while the full report can be downloaded above.

U.S.:

The path of the real estate recovery will mirror the path of the economic recovery – and both are dependent on the trajectory of the virus. A U.S. real estate recovery could be expected soon after a vaccine is widely available in mid-2021.

Since February 2020, commercial real estate prices have fallen 10%, as calculated by the Green Street Commercial Property Price Index (‘CPPI’). Similarly, during the year ending September 2020, NCREIF Property Index appreciation returns were down 2.22%. However, value declines have been uneven across property types as the pandemic has affected different segments of the economy and consumers to varying degrees.

According to Real Capital Analytics (‘RCA’), real estate transaction volumes were down 40% during the January to September period in 2020 relative to 2019 levels. During this time, apartments and industrial captured almost 56% of total U.S. transaction volumes, illustrating the strong investor interest in these two property types. Real estate transaction volumes tend to lead real estate values by 3-6 months, suggesting U.S. real estate values could fall by more than the 10% recorded so far by the CPPI.

Europe:

Most of Europe is in a second wave of COVID-19 and various restrictions have been introduced by governments. However, the restrictions are much more targeted, leaving schools and businesses open as normal, only closing large parts of the hospitality industry and non-business travel. Also the measures have been introduced with a view to be lifted by early December and are largely designed to allow a relatively normal Christmas season.

This more focused approached keeps most of economic activity intact, which means economic forecasts have been only slightly revised downwards in response. At the same time the high number of infections has led to fewer hospitalizations and deaths than in spring 2020. Another partial lockdown is very likely for many European countries sometime in January or February 2021, before spring and early vaccination results may bring some relief and a route back to normal in the course of 2021.

First doses of a more effective than hoped vaccine developed by BioNTech of Germany with support from pharma giant Pfizer in the U.S. are expected to be delivered to high risk groups and front line care workers as soon as December 2020. The EU has bought 300 million doses of this vaccine in addition to similar volumes of the rival vaccines also expected to be available early 2021.

Asia Pacific:

Backed by low community infection rates, a travel bubble between Hong Kong and Singapore will begin on November 22. Plans are afoot for a similar arrangement between Hong Kong and Guangdong province, China from November 23.

Having slowed quite sharply through to Q3 this year, fund raising activities look to be picking up. BentalGreenOak and PAG have separately raised in total more than $5 billion in equity to invest into Japan. Investment volumes in Japan have already reached close to 80% of last year’s level in Q3, reflecting strong institutional interests in core commercial real estate especially logistics as well as alternative sectors such as multifamily and data centers.

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Wendy Pryce
Wendy Pryce
Real Estate Product Specialist