The Trust’s net asset value (NAV) with income rose +1.39% versus a return of +0.07% for the benchmark, while the share price returned +2.55%. The discount still stands at an attractive -13%.
European property companies, measured by the FTSE EPRA Developed Europe Index, generated total returns of +1.2% in euros, outperforming general equities (measured by the EuroStoxx 600 Index, total returns, in euros), which returned -0.9% in July. They were helped by depressed bond yields (the 10-year German bund fell -7 basis points (bps) in the month, ending at -52bp) and the spread of negative real interest rates across several major economies. Continue reading
Pan European real estate equities started the month very much continuing the late May theme of benefiting from the rotation away from growth focused (and more expensive) stocks towards the ‘value’ (cheaper multiples) names. However mid month that macro tailwind petered out and the sector corrected almost -7% in 5 days, this was followed by an equally sharp but short lived rally with the sector ending the month just +1.8% having been +9% at one point. ‘Volatile’ remains the most commonly used adjective. In essence markets are constantly torn between the attraction of equity valuations when bond yields are set to remain very flat for long periods (and real rates are negative) and the daily news that much of the real economy is in dire straits. The consumer (beyond the immediate post lockdown spending spree) is unlikely to come to the rescue given expected rising unemployment levels and job insecurity leading to higher savings ratios. Continue reading
Pan-European real estate equities continued the range-bound, yet volatile performance (which we have experienced since the end of March) for most of the month. However, the last ten days of May and early June saw a sustained rally as investors preferred value stocks (seen to be undervalued) to growth stocks (companies that are expected to grow faster than the market). On a global perspective, the gap between the two had rarely been wider, and this snap back was sharp. In our universe, this has translated into a strong correction from those stocks that have had the weakest performance since markets began to react to COVID-19 in mid-February. This was primarily in retail, hotels and other consumer-facing real estate. Continue reading
Pan-European broad equities (measured by the STOXX Europe 600 index, in euros) generated total returns of +6.7%. They shrugged off poor corporate earnings releases and dreadful macroeconomic news flow in April, warmed by the enormous central bank and government support actions. Pan-European property stocks (EPRA Developed Europe, sterling, total returns) returned +1.7%, lagging the wider market. This was possibly due to concerns over surging debt spreads, lease length potentially undermined by bankruptcies, dividend cuts, and a worsening outlook for the consumer-facing property sub-sectors, such as retail, hotel, leisure and serviced offices. However, the picture wasn’t quite so bleak when viewed in euros, with total return for the month at +3.7%. Sterling strengthened over 2% versus the euro over the month, carrying on its bounce from the mid-March lows. The Trust’s net asset value (NAV) rose +2.0% while the share price was up +5.5%, as the discount percentage tightened to single figures. Continue reading
March 2020 saw the most dramatic real estate equity market performance in living memory (and certainly in the 24 years I have been involved in the management of TR Property). The net asset value (NAV) fell -19.8%, while the benchmark was down -19.1%. The share price fell by -26.7%. These were all unprecedented figures over the course of 22 trading days. When viewed from the sector’s peak of 19 February to the most recent trough (18 March), the NAV fall reached -37%. This information is historical, but what is still evolving – in real time – is companies’ response to the downturn in consumption and the dramatic falls in GDP. Our focus is on assessing the security (or fragility) of earnings alongside balance-sheet strength. To be clear, we do not currently draw strong parallels with the global financial crisis of 2008; the distress is on the balance sheet of the few rather than the many. The banks are not the real villain this time. Lenders and creditors have the backstop of central banks; margins will rise but liquidity is still broadly available. The exceptions to this statement are in the retail sub-sector, which was already drawn into the whirlpool of further devaluation long before COVID-19. The structural headwinds will now blow even harder as more consumers experience shopping without entering a shopping centre. There will be an immediate rebound in footfall when the lockdown ends, but we believe that this will be short-lived. Continue reading