Performance as at 31 March 2020
Performance is after the annual fund charge, and before tax and membership fees (if applicable). For more information, see legal information and disclaimers.
What happened this quarter (3 months to 31 March 2020)
- International listed property had a weak first quarter, following global equity markets lower as the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak worsened. Regionally, no country escaped the sell-off with steep losses (local currency) in the US (-29%), Canada (-27.8%), Australia (-40.1%) and the UK (-27.5%).
- In Australia, there was a specific weakness in the retail and development-led residential exposure. Furthermore, the country’s exposure to China saw its broad stock indices underperform most global counterparts, with the ASX 200 falling 24%.
- On the real estate investment trust (REIT) front, there were strong actions to bolster and preserve cash to provide protection amid uncertainty around the coronavirus and its duration. During the latter part of the quarter, we saw several REITS withdraw 2020 earnings guidance, suspend dividends and halt transaction activity. In the residential REIT space, most companies publically committed to halt evictions for 90 days and eliminate rent increases to protect tenants during the period of uncertainty where many Americans began to lose their jobs.
- There were a few corporate transactions in the quarter, including US retail landlord Simon Property Group, which announced it will acquire an 80% interest in Taubman Centres for US$52.50 per share, and Front Yard Residential, which entered into an agreement to be acquired by Amherst Residential, a private real estate company, for US$12.50 per share.
- However, activity tapered off into the end of the quarter as sentiment waned, with the one major move being Blackstone’s purchase of a £120m portfolio from Clearbell Capital UK.
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