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European non-listed real estate reports significant downturn in performance in response to weaker market environment

Capital growth falls to lowest level since the global financial crisis

15 March 2023, Amsterdam – The INREV Quarterly Fund Index Q4 2022 reveals a significant downturn in performance, as real estate prices adjust to reflect the weaker economic environment. Capital growth fell sharply to -7.24%, a quarter-on-quarter decline of -523 bps, the lowest level recorded since the global financial crisis (GFC).

European non-listed real estate delivered a total return of -6.19% in the fourth quarter. The speed of correction has been abrupt and synchronised across markets, although levels of decline vary from one geography to another.

UK leads the correction once again

With -11.96%, the UK displayed the weakest total return for the second consecutive quarter, bringing the total correction since Q2 2022 to -16.21%. The Netherlands and France also registered notably weaker Q4 performances at -5.36% and -4.17%, respectively, with quarter-on-quarter declines of 469 bps and 281 bps. Meanwhile, Germany reported a slower 139 bps decline to -2.97%, down from
 -1.38% in Q3 2022.

Industrial/logistics continues its decline in performance

With sectors, there is less dispersion in performance compared to countries, albeit the differences are still notable. The industrial/logistics sector saw a further decline in performance to reach -10.68% in Q4 2022, down from -4.13% in the previous quarter. Relatively high pricing as well as weaker rental growth expectations drove this sharp deterioration, leaving the sector as the weakest performing for the second quarter in a row. 

Meanwhile, retail outperformed the wider market with a more modest negative return of -2.78%. Structural headwinds have brought strong value declines in recent years, hence the impact of the current downturn is less prominent as yields are already relatively high. Total return for residential dipped to -3.58% in Q4, close to that of offices at -3.74%. However, strong fundamentals such as the structural imbalance between supply and demand and thus its greater potential as an inflation hedge should continue to support the residential sector. 

The sharp industrial/logistics correction described earlier is evident across all main markets, accelerating in Q4 2022. The deterioration of the Q4 UK and Dutch office performance, as well as UK retail, is also very sharp, in all cases it feel below -8%.

Near-term sentiment remains muted across geographies and sectors

Investment sentiment towards European real estate remains muted in terms of both geography and sector. On a net basis, 21% of survey respondents intend to increase allocations to the UK. This could be a result of the abrupt repricing, which presents attractive investment opportunities for both domestic and international investors. Sentiment towards France and the Netherlands is also net positive with 13% and 6% of respondents, respectively, indicating their intention to increase allocations to these markets. Germany’s net neutral position this quarter is an improvement after four consecutive quarters of net negative sentiment.

Turning to sectors, the living segment continues to be favoured with residential, student housing and senior living/aged care/health care all being in net positive territory. After three consecutive quarters of negative sentiment, the industrial/logistics sector reversed course with 6% of respondents indicating they intend to increase weighting to the sector. This was aided by the recent sharp repricing, leading to higher yields and more attractive investment opportunities. The latest results confirm the long-term view on the sector and structural shift away from retail.  

Offices experienced a fourth consecutive quarter of negative sentiment with 12% of survey respondents indicating intentions to decrease their weighting, likely driven by investors’ and managers’ ongoing reassessment of the sector in response to hybrid working policies, with European investors most pessimistic[1]

Reduced European real estate liquidity

At just over €121 billion, the European real estate market experienced a significant (-47%) decline in H2 2022 transaction activity compared to the same period a year earlier, and more than -20% compared to the recent six-month average[2], according to the latest MSCI Real Assets data. Offices demonstrate an above-average decline in deal volume, a -23% drop in relation to the six-month average over the last four years. On a positive note, the equivalent drop for industrial/logistics is a more moderate -12.5%.  

INREV Consensus Indicator Survey revealed that investment sentiment is starting to stabilise for the first time since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, albeit still down significantly. It may be a very early sign that there is a broad consensus on the magnitude and speed of the correction.

Iryna Pylypchuk, INREV’s Director of Research and Market said: ‘This quarter’s findings show a clear picture of the steepest decline in performance since the GFC and a correction that’s well underway and evident across all markets, with the UK in the lead. Investors have been expecting a correction, but the more rapid and abrupt repricing we see in the Q4 2022 numbers is welcome news for our asset class. Until we see stability return to the geopolitical environment, ECB forecasts suggest inflation will remain high and further interest rate hikes are expected, leaving downward pressure on performance as we look ahead into 2023. A bifurcation and varying degrees of risk in different market segments are the key risks, as well as mispricing opportunities in 2023.’

[1] INREV Consensus Indicator Survey 2023, INREV/ANREV/PREA Investment Intentions Survey 2023
[2] Six-monthly average over the last four years

– Ends –

For further information, please contact: 
Johlyn da Prato, johlyn.daprato@inrev.org  | +31 (0) 621397456
Justin St Clair-Charles, inrevteam@firstlightgroup.io | +44 (0) 7769 644 059
Josie Workman, inrevteam@firstlightgroup.io | +44 (0) 7460 325 392

Notes to Editors


INREV, the European Association for Investors in Non-Listed Real Estate Vehicles, was launched in May 2003 as a forum for institutional investors and other participants in the growing non-listed real estate vehicles sector. The association represents and reflects an industry with a total value of €2.8 trillion and INREV members deliver €385 billion of stimulus to the real economy of Europe. 

INREV has 490 members which include 122 of the largest institutional investors as well as 40 of the 50 largest real estate fund managers, plus banks and advisors across Europe and elsewhere. 

The non-profit association is focused on increasing the transparency and accessibility of non-listed vehicles, promoting professionalism and best practice, and sharing knowledge. It is based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.