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Commercial

Calling the top for US commercial real estate

Indicators that include a recently released investor sentiment survey and a sharp fall in REIT prices since the start of the year support our updated view that capital values will go into reverse in H2. In total, our latest forecasts call for a 6%-8% correction at the all-property level over the next couple of years, which would be a little less than implied by the falls that we have seen so far in US REITS.

24 June 2022

Student accommodation rent growth to stay solid

Student enrolment remained robust during the last couple of years and is likely to continue growing strongly over the next decade. But supply of purpose-built beds has grown less rapidly and the pipeline points to a continued lag against demand. This demand-supply imbalance will likely support solid rent growth over the coming years.

24 June 2022

Rising interest rates to speed up property correction

The weaker economic outlook and larger increases in interest rates are expected to weigh on property performance. With valuations under increasing pressure from sharply rising bond yields, we think that property yields will reach their troughs this year and rise by a cumulative 35bps at the all-property level over the following few years. Rental growth is unlikely to be able to provide much offset to prevent falls in capital values in 2023-24, with structural changes dragging on the retail and office sectors. This will leave annual total returns languishing in low single digits on average over the forecast. Beyond 2022, we think retail will overtake industrial as the best performing sector, while offices are expected to underperform.

23 June 2022
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Signs of a slowdown emerging

Annual all-property rental growth reached a five-year high in May, while returns rose to levels last seen in mid-1994. But signs of a slowdown also emerged, especially in the red-hot industrial sector, where capital value growth and total returns eased for the first time in almost two years. In addition, the recovery in retail and offices lost some steam, with monthly rental growth rates nudging lower. We expect the pace of growth will let up soon as yields start to stabilise and structural changes weigh on occupier demand. As such, we expect returns to cool to below 10% by end-2022.

All-property returns to fall to zero next year as values slide

The dramatic shift in the interest rate environment over the first half of the year means that we have brought forward (and increased) our forecasts for yield rises. Property valuations now look as bad as they did in 2007, and with the 10-Year Treasury yield moving toward 4% by year-end, something has to give. We now expect property yields to climb by a cumulative 40-50 bps over the next few years,. This will hit all sectors, although the elevated level of retail yields at present may spare them the worst, particularly in terms of the impact on capital values. All-property returns are still forecast to be 8% this year, but they will then drop to 0% next year and just 2.5% in 2024. We are still forecasting industrial returns of 18% this year. But beyond that the sector will be a major drag on returns in 2023-24, meaning it would go from hero to zero in the space of a year.

Will Manchester office rental growth outperform again?

After a more severe downturn in 2020, Manchester office rental growth has caught up with other regional cities in recent quarters. While employment growth and occupier activity may remain fairly weak, tight new supply dynamics should see Manchester office rents rising broadly in line with the average of other regional offices over the short term.

Will property resist the effects of deglobalisation?

A recent MSCI article speculated that real estate investment could buck the deglobalisation trend given distinct features of the asset class, though we are not convinced that will bring many benefits. In view of the wider interest, we are also sending this European Commercial Property Update to clients of our UK & US Commercial Property Services.

Commercial Property Lending (May.)

Commercial real estate debt continued to grow at a decent pace in May, in line with the recent strength in investment activity. However, we expect a weaker economic backdrop to weigh on commercial property lending and investment later this year.

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