By Sergiy Lesyk, Director Research and Analytics, FTSE Russell
The COVID crisis has had a significant impact on European listed real estate. Although the crisis continues, we can already observe that a few things are indeed different compared to the Global Financial Crisis (GFC).
First, the origin of the COVID crisis is not financial by nature but comes from a health threat. Unlike GFC, it necessitated the authorities to restrict the movement of people, effectively shutting down certain industries, and provide targeted financial assistance. A staggering $11 trillion of financial support has been deployed by G20 nations towards the COVID crisis, so far.
Second, the real estate industry has also changed. Since the GFC, listed real estate companies have decreased their leverage and become more resilient to liquidity shocks. Significantly lower interest rates are also supportive of liquidity position of real estate companies.
These distinctions have resulted in the different performance of the listed real estate overall, and of specific sectors. The GFC was triggered by the sub-prime mortgage crisis, which resulted in consumer-related residential, self-storage and wider economy industrial sectors experiencing dramatic drawdowns (Figure 1). By contrast, office, the retail and health care sectors held up relatively better.
However, the picture in this crisis is almost in reverse (Figure 2). The targeted government assistance has kept private households from a consumer credit crunch and helped residential real estate to post a positive return to date this year.
The industrial sector, which was the worst performer during the GFC, also rose during COVID, boosted by consumers, who shifted their shopping preference from physical stores to online. However, this change in consumer trend, which had started pre-COVID (Figure 3), further depressed retail real estate during COVID, the latter never recovering from its pre-GFC highs (Figure 1).
As can be seen from Figure 4, the COVID crisis had different impacts on real estate sectors. For some, such as industrials, retail and residential, the COVID crisis continued and exacerbated the trends, which had existed before the crisis. For others, like office and hotels, COVID was a shock and it remains to be seen how they will emerge out of the crisis.
© 2020 London Stock Exchange Group plc and its applicable group undertakings (the “LSE Group”). The LSE Group includes (1) FTSE International Limited (“FTSE”), (2) Frank Russell Company (“Russell”), (3) FTSE Global Debt Capital Markets Inc. and FTSE Global Debt Capital Markets Limited (together, “FTSE Canada”), (4) MTSNext Limited (“MTSNext”), (5) Mergent, Inc. (“Mergent”), (6) FTSE Fixed Income LLC (“FTSE FI”), (7) The Yield Book Inc (“YB”) and (8) Beyond Ratings S.A.S. (“BR”). All rights reserved.
FTSE Russell® is a trading name of FTSE, Russell, FTSE Canada, MTSNext, Mergent, FTSE FI, YB and BR. “FTSE®”, “Russell®”, “FTSE Russell®”, “MTS®”, “FTSE4Good®”, “ICB®”, “Mergent®”, “The Yield Book®”, “Beyond Ratings®” and all other trademarks and service marks used herein (whether registered or unregistered) are trademarks and/or service marks owned or licensed by the applicable member of the LSE Group or their respective licensors and are owned, or used under licence, by FTSE, Russell, MTSNext, FTSE Canada, Mergent, FTSE FI, YB or BR. FTSE International Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority as a benchmark administrator.
All information is provided for information purposes only. All information and data contained in this publication is obtained by the LSE Group, from sources believed by it to be accurate and reliable. Because of the possibility of human and mechanical error as well as other factors, however, such information and data is provided “as is” without warranty of any kind. No member of the LSE Group nor their respective directors, officers, employees, partners or licensors make any claim, prediction, warranty or representation whatsoever, expressly or impliedly, either as to the accuracy, timeliness, completeness, merchantability of any information or of results to be obtained from the use of FTSE Russell products, including but not limited to indexes, data and analytics, or the fitness or suitability of the FTSE Russell products for any particular purpose to which they might be put. Any representation of historical data accessible through FTSE Russell products is provided for information purposes only and is not a reliable indicator of future performance.
No responsibility or liability can be accepted by any member of the LSE Group nor their respective directors, officers, employees, partners or licensors for (a) any loss or damage in whole or in part caused by, resulting from, or relating to any error (negligent or otherwise) or other circumstance involved in procuring, collecting, compiling, interpreting, analysing, editing, transcribing, transmitting, communicating or delivering any such information or data or from use of this document or links to this document or (b) any direct, indirect, special, consequential or incidental damages whatsoever, even if any member of the LSE Group is advised in advance of the possibility of such damages, resulting from the use of, or inability to use, such information.
No member of the LSE Group nor their respective directors, officers, employees, partners or licensors provide investment advice and nothing contained in this document or accessible through FTSE Russell Indexes, including statistical data and industry reports, should be taken as constituting financial or investment advice or a financial promotion.
Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Charts and graphs are provided for illustrative purposes only. Index returns shown may not represent the results of the actual trading of investable assets. Certain returns shown may reflect back-tested performance. All performance presented prior to the index inception date is back-tested performance. Back-tested performance is not actual performance, but is hypothetical. The back-test calculations are based on the same methodology that was in effect when the index was officially launched. However, back- tested data may reflect the application of the index methodology with the benefit of hindsight, and the historic calculations of an index may change from month to month based on revisions to the underlying economic data used in the calculation of the index.
This publication may contain forward-looking assessments. These are based upon a number of assumptions concerning future conditions that ultimately may prove to be inaccurate. Such forward-looking assessments are subject to risks and uncertainties and may be affected by various factors that may cause actual results to differ materially. No member of the LSE Group nor their licensors assume any duty to and do not undertake to update forward-looking assessments.
No part of this information may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of the applicable member of the LSE Group. Use and distribution of the LSE Group data requires a licence from FTSE, Russell, FTSE Canada, MTSNext, Mergent, FTSE FI, YB and/or their respective licensors.
Editor’s Note: The summary bullets for this article were chosen by Seeking Alpha editors.