IQ spoke to Katie Smith, Head of Analytics at CBRE Investment Management, for her insights on data in the non-listed real estate market.
In 2003, the non-listed real estate industry represented a total gross asset value of €31billion. Today it’s worth €320 billion, according to the INREV Fund Index, covering over 300 vehicles. At the same time, INREV's most granular index - the Asset Level Index - covers almost 7,000 assets with more than €200 billion in total market value.
Much of this growth has been underpinned by increased transparency and willingness to share data. It also reflects market participants’ improved understanding of the industry and their increased usage of the data and tools that INREV provides for them. These knowledge gains owe a lot to the evolution of high-quality data. Over the last 20 years, INREV has significantly expanded its data and research capabilities, delivering a broad range of databases, indices, regular evergreen surveys and specific research reports, as well as analytical tools.
The more recent Debt Fund Study is another timely example of INREV's important role of pushing for transparency in a constantly evolving industry, by adding in the non-listed debt space.
Meeting members’ requirements
All the outputs serve INREV’s members well. Some, however, seem to have gained a particular resonance. The quarterly Market Insights, and annual Investment Intentions Survey, Capital Raising Survey and Fund Manager Survey, shine like beacons on the research calendar. The bi-annual Management Fees and Terms study, on the other hand, is unique and the only study that explores the fee and cost structures of the European non-listed real estate vehicles available in the wider industry. The more recent Debt Fund Study is another timely example of INREV's important role of pushing for transparency in a constantly evolving industry, by adding in the non-listed debt space. The eventual goal is to reproduce the equity-equivalent outputs the organisation is so successful at delivering.
The objective for INREV has always been constant improvement to provide members with the essential data they need. Hence, innovations such as, the Debt Vehicles Universe, which has become an invaluable resource, especially in the current market, and has doubled in size over the last seven years.
Still more to do
‘Compared to other asset classes,’ says Katie, ‘non-listed real estate is still opaque. But we’re making progress. It really feels like it’s a collective effort towards greater transparency with INREV leading the change.’
ESG is another great example of this. There’s a real willingness within the industry to move forward with the collection of ESG data. This reflects Katie’s perspective that, while lots has been achieved, there’s still plenty to do – not least because data is the currency of tomorrow. INREV's recent asset-level ESG KPI project has got off to a great start, opening doors to enhanced analysis and first steps to understanding the impact of ESG KPIs on the financial performance of assets.
As digital technology advances, the industry must keep pace with it to further enhance data transparency and efficiencies to connect the data across many dimensions. It must also better integrate systems, improve data analytics and expand access for those who need it. To this end, INREV is making inroads with its new data platform with enhanced analytical tools, and with the Asset Level Index available for all members to join. Later in 2023, INREV will launch the Global ODCE Index with its two global partners NCREIF and ANREV. The industry’s data journey continues with INREV blazing the trail ahead.