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Author: SGX   |   Latest post: Mon, 15 Aug 2022, 5:06 PM

 

REIT Watch - Signs of An Inflection Point for S-Reits With Europe, US Office Assets

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Data for office markets in Europe and the United States (US) are indicating potential signs of recovery. European office occupier activity remains robust and rents resilient in Q1 2022, and Q4 2021 recorded the strongest quarterly leasing volume since Q4 2018 driven by pent-up demand (Knight Frank, Savills).

Meanwhile in the US, leasing activity rose 5.4 per cent over Q1 2022, marking the fifth consecutive quarter of improved tenant demand, according to JLL.

There are 6 S-Reits with pure Europe and US office properties: Cromwell European Reit : CWBU 0%, IReit Global : 8U7U 0%, and Elite Commercial Reit : MXNU 0% have pure Europe office assets, while Manulife US Reit : BTOU 0%, Prime US Reit : OXMU 0%, and Keppel Pacific Oak US Reit : CMOU 0% have pure US office assets.

Cromwell European Reit reported 94.8 per cent in overall portfolio occupancy and 4.2 per cent positive rent reversion.

Its office portfolio registered positive rent reversion of 1.6 per cent, from several lease renewals and smaller new leases in Italy, France, and Finland. It noted that the preference in Europe trends towards shorter lease durations and flexible leases, while nascent recovery has been tempered by the Ukraine-Russia war which has reduced appetite for office expansions in Finland and Poland.

IReit Global reported an unchanged portfolio occupancy at 95.7 per cent as at Mar 31, 2022. It expects its portfolio to remain resilient, supported by a blue-chip tenant mix and diversified asset base.

IReit will continue to focus on asset management to maintain occupancy and long-term attractiveness through sustainability initiatives.

Elite Commercial Reit reported a 36.2 per cent year-on-year growth in Q1 2022 distributable income, driven by its maiden portfolio acquisition and tax savings as a UK Reit group. It achieved positive outcome from its major lease re-gearing exercise, removing lease break options from 109 assets (set to occur in March 2023).

It received notice to exercise break options for 8 of remaining 9 Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)-occupied assets and will actively manage these. The Reit’s portfolio remains fully occupied as of Mar 31, 2022.

Manulife US Reit reported 3.9 per cent positive rent reversion and portfolio occupancy of 91.7 per cent in Q1 2022, above US Class A average (83 per cent). It noted that employment in most office-using sectors are above pre-Covid-19 levels, led by professional services, information, and financial activities.

Prime US Reit continued to observe stronger leasing activity for Q1 2022, which more than doubled year on year, and positive rent reversion of 3.4 per cent.

Rent reversions over the last 7 quarters have consistently remained positive. It noted that portfolio rents are below asking rents by 6.0 per cent, reflecting the continued potential for rent reversion.

Parking revenue also increased by over 30 per cent as more return to offices in Q1 2022.

Keppel Pacific Oak US Reit reported 2.4 per cent positive rent reversion for Q1 2022 with zero rent deferment requests. It noted new leading demand and expansions from professional services, finance and insurance, TAMI (technology, advertising, media, information), and medical and healthcare. It noted that tenants appear to have long-term confidence in the office market as more companies expand footprints. 

REIT Watch is a weekly column on The Business Times, read the original version

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IREIT Global 0.59 -0.005 (0.84%) 1,509,700 
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ManulifeReit USD 0.535 0.00 (0.00%) 1,982,000 
Prime US ReitUSD 0.655 -0.005 (0.76%) 1,566,700 
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