We seek to deliver sustainable investment solutions across real assets categories, geographies, risk profiles and execution formats so that our clients, people and communities thrive. One of the world’s leading real assets investment managers, our team is responsible for more than $147.6bn of assets under management.
INDUSTRIAL: The growth rates being recorded by the logistics and residential sectors have converged over the past year. Logistics rents in Q2 2023 were 9% higher than a year earlier. This is a more moderate than the 13% growth seen in mid-2022, but growth remains widespread – rents in 63 out of the 70 tracked European logistics markets were higher than a year earlier.
Logistics has seen the most rapid yield shift and will likely be the first sector to see capital values rise. Repricing in the residential sector has been slower. In both cases we are confident that the strength of income growth prospects will cap the outward yield shift over coming quarters.
OFFICE: Office occupier markets are also highly bifurcated. Occupiers are seeking the highest-quality space, pushing up prime rents, though growth has moderated to an annual rate of 4.4% in Q2 2023, from a peak of 6.4% in late 2022. Aggregate office vacancy across the EU-15 markets exceeded 10% in the latest data, the first time it has reached double digits since 2015. While aggregate vacancy is less relevant as a driver of prime rent growth it is relevant for the wider market, where we expect higher structural vacancy.
While we can still see select opportunities in office, we see much of the investable universe as either in need of repositioning or at risk of obsolescence.
RESIDENTIAL: Residential rent growth continued to accelerate, up 8.2% year-over-year as of Q2 2023. Rent growth in Warsaw, Amsterdam, Stockholm and Berlin exceeded 15% year-over-year, while London, Dublin and Madrid rents grew more than 10% year-over-year.
There is no sign of demand easing in the residential sector, nor is there any prospect of supply increasing in the short term. Residential building permits across the EU have fallen 13% over the past year. The clear structural undersupply of quality residential stock across Europe will persist. Rent growth prospects would be even stronger were they not capped to a degree by the broad increase in the cost of living across the continent as well as the regulated nature of the sector in some markets.
According to our RARE analysis, the selection of markets offering the greatest return in excess of the required return are in the logistics and residential sectors.
For residential, Southern Europe and the UK have slightly stronger return outlooks than Germany. However, Germany’s lower required return means it screens most favourably when considering risk as well as returns.
RETAIL: In the retail sector, we have seen steady improvement ever since the pandemic lockdowns ended. Across Europe’s major high street destinations, prime rents were 5.5% higher than a year earlier in Q2 2023 amid a shift of sales back to physical stores as well as booming tourism. We must acknowledge though that this is not true of all retail locations, as those where the proposition lacks relevance for the local catchment continue to struggle, especially while household finances are stretched.
We believe that retail is overrepresented in the investable universe, which leads us to an underweight position. That said, we are beginning to see pockets of value emerge in retail as markets have recovered from the pandemic and e-commerce impacts are better understood. Also, the earlier malls by occupancy rate analysis illustrated how an asset can outperform even if the sector average figures do not show outperformance. This has led us to revise up our retail allocation for the second consecutive round. Retail continues to show overall improvement and we would expect attractive asset-level opportunities even if markets in aggregate do not yet screen as good value.
Further indicating the necessity of asset-level analysis is the ongoing growth in prime retail rents, which continues despite the squeeze on household finances and falling retail sales volumes. Thankfully for the wider retail sector we expect to see household incomes return to growth in real terms over the coming months. This should help improve consumer confidence, which remains fragile.
Investment principles & strategy
Realise new life in your investment’s lifecycle
Our experienced teams – whose interests are aligned with both investors and occupiers—employ a consistent and rigorous insights-based investment and risk-mitigation process. We aim to align investor goals with occupier needs and believe that helping our investors understand the changing needs of end users will create superior long-term performance.
Our affiliation with CBRE enhances our offering as an investor and operator of real assets. This, coupled with our flexibility to work with other leading service providers, means we can deliver on all aspects of an investment’s lifecycle. We believe this enhances value for both investors and occupiers.
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