Dutch residential investment volumes to reach €9.3 billion in 2019

Investment volumes in Dutch residential market is expected to reach €9.3 billion in 2019, setting a new high watermark for the market, after 2018’s €8.5 billion annual haul, according to data from Capital Value.

Prices increased by approximately 7.5% in 2019, according to Capital Value, which added that interest from both domestic and international investors in Dutch residential rental properties remains strong.

International investors continue to play an important role in the calculation of the total transaction volume. This can be attributed to the purchase of Heimstaden in the Round Hill portfolio for €1.38 billion, which is the largest residential investment transaction in the Dutch market ever. This transaction increased the transaction volume by international investors to €4.2 billion, as was forecasted in Capital Value’s prognoses earlier this year. This amounts to 46% of the total volume, whereas in 2018, this amounted to just 36%.

Though the more than 9,500 homes at Round Hill went to Heimstaden, and in doing so, remained in the hands of an international investor, the number of international investors also grew in Dutch residential rental properties. In 2018, 30% of residential rental properties that were put up for sale by Dutch parties were bought by international investors. In 2019, this percentage is 36%.

The increased interest from abroad is also indicated by the number of active international investors in the Dutch residential investment market. This number increased from 35 in 2018 to 41 in 2019. An important reason for this increase is that many foreign pension funds want to invest in Dutch residential rental properties due to the economic stability and the positive forecasts with regard to population growth and the growth in the number of households.

A total of more than 47,000 residential rental homes were sold in 2019. Approximately 33% of those were newly built which totals to 16,000 residential rental homes. Last year, this percentage was 43% when approximately 20,000 new residential rental homes were sold. Dutch pension funds remain the most important investors in new-build output.

The most important cause for the lower number of newly-built residential homes as compared to 2018 is the rise in construction costs and the fall in the number of issued building permits, as well as the slowdown in building projects due to various factors such the nitrogen oxide pollution crisis and capacity shortages in municipalities.

The number of issued building permits is expected to reach approximately 47,000 this year. This number is 37% lower than the governmental objective of 75,000 building permits per year. In order to stimulate the number of building permits, more must be done at the municipal level to accelerate procedures.

Marijn Snijders, director of Capital Value:

“A record amount of pension fund capital is available for investment in Dutch residential properties. Dutch pension funds have indicated to have approximately 4 billion euros available for investment in Dutch residential rental properties. Of this amount, 1.5 billion euros remain unused. It is a missed opportunity if we do not use this available capital. Only an increase in supply can contribute to solving the increasing shortage and rising price increases of Dutch residential rental homes.”


Cushman on 2020: private equity could be the leading source of capital for high yield assets next year

Private equity will be the leading source of capital for high yield assets in 2020 and non-CBD offices will be top of their buying list, according to a Cushman & Wakefield forecast.

Funds have been the main culprit for lower investment volumes in recent years, Cushman says, as their share of high-yield investment dropped from a 10-year average of 54% to 37% in the first half of 2019. This fall leaves private equity volumes at near parity with those of funds for the first time since 2008.

The fall in fund activity and the relative stability of private equity investment will have an influence over what assets will be popular in 2020. If these trends and preferences persist, private equity would be the leading source of capital for high yield assets in 2020 and non-CBD offices would be top of their buying list, predicts Cushman.

By H1 2019, private equity spent 58% of its capital on non-CBD offices, with retail warehouses and shopping centres a distant second and third with around a 12% share each, according to Cushman data. Meanwhile, funds have shown a greater preference for retail, which attracted a 43% share of their investment, versus 39% for offices. Industrial has suffered from a lack of high-yielding stock since investors pushed yields lower.

In the UK, there were just 40 assets offering yields of seven percent and above on the market at the end of August 2019. Over half of this stock were offices and around 20% were retail properties. This supply profile is in line with private equity investors’ preferences but could be a barrier to funds looking for suitable retail assets.

Andrew Phipps, Head of EMEA Research at Cushman & Wakefield, explains:

“Yields will remain near historical lows. Economic growth and investment returns will slow. There will be a lot of capital chasing too few opportunities, and that competition could drive investors into pushing yields lower. For investors in core real estate, this stage of the cycle is the time to reduce risk and accept lower returns. But investors with a higher risk appetite may not want to settle for low income returns. There are properties for sale with higher yields, and there is a peer group of investors willing to buy them. However, any asset with a high yield comes with risks that need to be understood.

“Investors will apply a heavy discount to the value of properties that have tenants with weak credit ratings, short leases and poor building quality. And so, a higher income return compensates for these risks. Buyers of high-risk properties, therefore, must be comfortable with the tenant’s ability to pay the rent over the holding period. The investor may use relatively cheap finance to leverage this income and boost returns, but otherwise the strategy is often basic.

“Other investors will try to improve the asset. The spread between low-risk and high-risk yields is wide and, although there isn’t a magic trick to turn the worst building into the best, actively improving a property in this environment can be profitable.”


‘It’s the best time to be an office developer’

The outlook for German offices is positive thanks to high demand and low interest rates

The outlook for German offices is positive thanks to high demand and low interest rates, delegates heard at Real Asset Media’s European Outlook Investment Briefing, which was held at PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Frankfurt office last week.

‘The beginning of the year was challenging because institutional investors were worried about higher interest rates,’ said Michael Becken, Managing Director, Becken Invest. ‘But as it became clear that interest rates would stay at current levels or lower, institutional investors have come back because the major asset class for the next few years will be real estate. For us as an office developer it is the best time’.

Michael Becken, Managing Director, BECKEN Invest GmbH, Christiane Conrads, Head of German Real Estate Desk, PwC Legal AG, Assem El Alami,Head of Real Estate Finance, International Key Accounts and Syndication, Berlin Hyp AG, Christopher Mertlitz, Executive Director , W. P. Carey Inc., Nils Skornicka, Managing Director Acquisitions & Development, Tishman Speyer, Germany and Christian Zilly, Managing Partner, Waterway Investments GmbHFrankfurt Outlook Keynote: Dominique Pfrang, Senior Manager, PwC

IW, the German Economic Institute in Cologne, calculates that the current interest rate environment will remain in place until 2050, providing a strong support to real estate for the foreseeable future.

‘Insurance companies have billions and that money is going into real estate,’ said Christian Zilly, Managing Partner, Waterway Investments. ‘This has repercussions for the office market, because with so much money around companies will seek huge buildings and values will probably go higher and higher’.

There is a trend for buying ever-larger assets among investors with deep pockets. 

‘I believe it is a risky trend,’ said Becken. ‘I feel more comfortable with middle-scale buildings, between €50 and €200 mln, which can have single tenant or multi-tenant usage. Bigger buildings, €200 to €300 mln, are the first to get into trouble and they could have vacancy rates of 30/40%’. 

Investing in quality rather than size is a better strategy, he said. Larger buildings are also harder to sell quickly.

‘We are a buy-and-hold investor, but even for us liquidity is a key criterion in underwriting any investment, so we think large office assets are a concern,’ said Christopher Mertlitz, Executive Director, W.P.Carey. 

‘The office sector in Germany is very solid, it has good fundamentals and there are no clouds on the horizon,’ said Assem El Alami, Head of Real Estate Finance, International Key Accounts and Syndication, Berlin Hyp. ‘But I share the view that there are limits to the liquidity of large assets. We cannot pretend that Frankfurt or Berlin are as huge a market as London or Paris’.

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Outflows in UK real estate funds accelerates in November to rise to £2.5 billion in last two years

Outflows from UK real estate funds accelerated in November to £251m, suffering their third worst month this year so far, according to the latest Fund Flow Index from Calastone, the global funds transaction network.

November’s £251m redemptions were up from £208m in October and £179m in September, marking a record 14th consecutive month of outflows. In the year to end November 2019, retail investors have pulled £1.9 billion from UK real estate funds and £2.5 billion since October 2018.

Last week, the £2.5bn M&G Property Portfolio, one of the UK’s biggest property funds, was suspended after “unusually high and sustained outflows” prompted by “Brexit-related political uncertainty and ongoing structural shifts in the UK retail sector”, the investment manager announced.

Nearly £1bn has been withdrawn by investors from the fund over the last year. M&G admitted it had been unable to sell assets fast enough to meet redemption requests. The fund had been running with 17.5% cash in May but this fell to just 5% at the end of October.

Other UK’s biggest property funds for retail investors have been running down their cash levels to meet redemptions, according to Property Week. Last week, M&G suspended trading in the M&G Property Portfolio fund because its cash levels had dwindled in the face of “unusually high outflows”.

Threadneedle UK Property Fund’s cash weighting has fallen from 11.8% in June to 6.7% in September, the Janus Henderson UK Property PAIF’s cash weighting fell from 24.6% in June to 16.7% in October, and the Aberdeen UK Property Fund’s cash levels reduced from 18% to 11.5% over the same period, according to PW’s calculations.

Edward Glyn, Head of Global Markets at Calastone commented;

“Real-estate funds keep breaking new records for all the wrong reasons as capital continues to leave the open-ended sector. Two-fifths of the UK’s commercial property is in retail[1], a sector suffering relentless disruption at a time when economic weakness has depressed sentiment around parts of the commercial property asset class. Outflows are the inevitable result. Worse still, real-estate funds are now caught between a rock and a hard place. To cope with consistent outflows, they must hold very high cash balances, of as much as 30% in some cases.

“Paradoxically high cash weightings may themselves be causing further outflows as investors shun the notion of paying management fees on holdings that are not fully invested in their chosen asset class. Property is inherently relatively illiquid, so regulatory change enabling open-ended property funds more flexibility around managing outflows may help, but the timing is bad, as the furore around the collapse of Woodford Investment Management following the suspension of the firm’s main equity funds makes it more difficult to highlight that investor interests are often best served by temporary suspension of trading. In the meantime, investors are voting with their feet.”


Cushman on 2020: economics and politics will become increasingly intertwined

The pace of change could well accelerate in 2020, according to Cushman & Wakefield, with both risk and reward on offer. The global real estate adviser looks ahead to next year with three stark political and macro predictions.

Cushman’s Big 3 political and macro predictions for 2020 are:

  • Global economic slowdown is likely to continue in 2020, although the chances of a recession remain low;
  • The ongoing war for talent will be an economic hurdle to overcome in 2020 and beyond; and
  • Economics and politics will become increasingly intertwined

The global economic slowdown has been well documented in 2019, and the UN’s trade and development body, UNCTAD is one of many voices warning of a recession in 2020, says Cushman, adding that any potential recession in 2020 or beyond would likely not be to the extremes seen during the GFC.

Oxford Economics predicts global real GDP growth will ease in early-2020 but is unlikely to see any sizeable change. Indeed, consensus forecasts indicate the likely of a recession in 2020 remain low.

Andrew Phipps, Head of EMEA Research at Cushman & Wakefield, explains:

“At the start of the previous decade, global trade was growing at almost 8% per year, almost double the rate of growth in real GDP. In 2019, however, the World Trade Organization (WTO) expects trade to grow by just 2.6%, in line with GDP. Whilst the recent eruption in protectionism has undoubtedly accelerated the slowdown, other industry-related cyclical effects are also at play.

“The U.S. National Association of Business Economists believe the #1 risk to the U.S. expansion is the trade war. The IMF estimates that one-third of the deceleration in global trade activity is attributable to the auto sector—which has been largely immune in the U.S.-Sino trade dispute thus far. And up until as recently as 2015, growth in services trade had been outperforming goods trade considerably, and had to an extent been masking the overall trade slowdown.

“Clearly, a slowing growth backdrop is not the only potential threat on the horizon. The ongoing war for talent will continue to be an economic challenge for companies from all sectors, with Gartner putting talent shortage as the top emerging risk faced by businesses worldwide. In the US more cities have an unemployment rate below 4% since before 1990 (when the data began to be captured).

“Looking beyond the economy, the global political landscape has shifted in the last decade, with signs of more to come in 2020. Years of wealth inequality and stagnating wages have contributed to a rise in populism, catalysed by the increase in information transfer permitted by social media platforms. The growing chasm between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’ exacerbates the issue, with political power swinging increasingly to the extremes.

“This political polarisation has come with several consequences, most notably an increase in civil unrest and protesting taking place across the world in Hong Kong, France, Spain, Lebanon, UK, U.S. and throughout Latin America. In 2020 there will be several significant elections including the U.S. presidential election, the United Nations Security Council election, the Polish presidential election – not to mention the potential fallout from the UK general election scheduled for 12th December 2019.”


‘Buying real estate remains the priority’

For as long as buying real estate is investors’ main concern the sector will remain in good shape

For as long as buying real estate is investors’ main concern the sector will remain in good shape, delegates heard at Real Asset Media’s European Outlook Investment Briefing, which was held at PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Frankfurt office last week.

‘Buying real estate is the real market driver,’ said Dominique Pfrang, Senior Manager, PwC. ‘People feel there is some risk in the market and they are concerned about possible bubbles, but they are still very keen to invest in the sector’.

Frankfurt Outlook Keynote: Dominique Pfrang, Senior Manager, PwC

Pfrang used Google Trends to access data on search enquiries over the last 15 years, which show that at the end of 2019 in Europe there was a sharp increase in interest in real estate bubbles and also a spike in searches on selling property. However, these searches are dwarfed by the level of interest in buying assets, which is a signal the market is healthy.

‘Interest rates are low and there’s still a comfortable buffer between bond yields and prime office yields, so we expect transaction volumes to stabilise at high levels in 2019,’ he said. ‘The figures are looking good and our forecast for 2020 that volumes will stay there, in Germany as well as in Europe’.

The top 5 economic risk factors for real estate investors are construction costs, followed by European economic growth, the availability of suitable land or assets for acquisition or development, global economic growth and cybersecurity in fifth place.

The top 5 social risk factors, according to PwC’s Emerging Trends 2019/2020 survey, are international political instability, far ahead as a concern above European and national political instability, housing affordability and national politics.

‘It is interesting that it’s the real economy, not the financial markets that are the main concern, and in particular construction costs going up,’ said Pfrang. ‘When it comes to political concerns there is more worry about the impact of US/China relations than about the situation at home’.

The survey shows some changes in investors’ favourite sectors, with Logistics moving from second to first place in the rankings, followed by retirement or assisted living. Co-living, which was number1 last year, is now in third place, with PRS up from 7th to 4th place and Student housing up from 6th to 5th place. 

‘The overall tendency shows that investors are looking for returns,’ said Pfrang. ‘All these managed properties provide the necessary triggers to get more out of an asset and increase its value’. In general, he said, ‘investors know that you need to have good asset management to make your assets work. There is no such thing as easy money’. 

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Dutch retail sector heads towards multichannel to combat e-commerce and population aging

Retailers in the Netherlands must embrace a multichannel future if they are to combat the threats from e-commerce and population aging, a new retail Report by Dutch real estate investor Bouwinvest suggests.

The unique characteristics of the Dutch retail sector have so far helped it fend off the e-commerce incursion affecting so many other global markets, but pressure is growing and with it the fortunes of large and smaller cities will increasingly diverge.

Collin Boelhouwer, Director Dutch Retail Investments at Bouwinvest, explains:

“Retail property markets are under pressure in many countries around the world due to the growth of e-commerce, demographic developments, economic uncertainties and changing consumer preferences. Retail locations in the biggest cities in the Netherlands though have performed better in the past decade, with low or only slightly rising vacancy rates, in comparison with the majority of smaller urban centres. We expect this trend to continue in the next 15 years, as the big cities look set to book the strongest population growth and be least affected by the greying of the population. As retail becomes increasingly ‘multichannel,’ the strongest and weakest retail locations across the Netherlands will become more and more polarised.”

The Netherlands ranks third in mainland Europe behind Austria and Belgium by retail space per inhabitant, with 1.59 sqm – although that is lower than the U.S., U.K. and Australia. The resilience of the Dutch retail sector has been helped by the market’s unique characteristics, including the compact nature of the country, the key role of convenience shopping centres in local neighbourhoods, and stringent urban planning regulations that have helped check the development of hypermarkets and out-of-town retail parks.

However, significant variations exist across the Netherlands. Dutch retail vacancy rates remain modest in the densely-populated Randstad conurbation in the west of the country, in particular in the big cities including Amsterdam, Utrecht and Leiden, which are seeing only a limited decline in the number of people within the 15-65 year old age bracket – comprising the vast majority of consumers in inner-city shopping areas. In contrast, provincial cities such as Alkmaar, Alphen, Apeldoorn and Venlo, with structurally older populations, are experiencing a decline in the vibrancy and diversity of retail offerings.

Jeroen Jansen, Research Manager Dutch Commercial Markets, explains:

“The Netherlands is not immune to the fallout from negative sentiment in the international retail market and, in the first half of 2019, retail investment volumes were half the level of the comparable 2018 period. Both rental and property values have been declining across the country, but since retailers want to continue renting in strong locations, we do not expect major fluctuations in rental levels there. Secondary inner-city shopping streets in the largest cities and large-scale retail centres are also well positioned, although the latter show a greater deviation in terms of total returns.”

In addition to rising e-commerce penetration – which is expected to virtually double in the Netherlands to 19% by 2025 – retailers are grappling with socio-economic developments such as declining disposable incomes among large population groups, and a shift towards services and spending on healthcare. In terms of retail segments, Dutch supermarkets have held their own in the past decade, and retail landlords are keen to have them as anchor tenants of local convenience centres and regional shopping malls. Other retail segments such as fashion, toys and consumer electronics are bearing the brunt of the growth in online sales at the expense of bricks-and-mortar stores.

Jeroen Jansen concluded:

“In the future there will be fewer stores, but the retailers will be better, and we expect a far-reaching symbiosis between online channels and physical stores. There is only one way forward: the future of the Dutch retail sector is multichannel.”


AEW: European real estate outlook positive despite worsening global economic growth and sentiment forecasts

The outlook for property has improved despite worsening global economic growth and business confidence, AEW predicts in its 2020 European Outlook.

In reaction to declining business confidence and slowing economic growth central banks cut interest rates, pushing bond yields lower for longer. In turn, these lower for longer bond yields are expected to keep property yields more stable than previously expected. AEW has found that more than 80 of the 100 markets assessed are attractive or neutral. This is a significant improvement from half of the 90 markets covered to last year.

While lower economic growth is expected to limit rental increases, the positive effect of lower for longer property yields more than offsets this negative income impact. The degree of this change varies across markets, but is generally positive. AEW’s approach of 100 market segments (which are catagorised by property type and are city specific – with each city allowed a maximum of four property types) helps it to identify the most attractive opportunities. This has translated into an improved outlook with values expected to remain stable in the medium term, with limited downside risk.

More specifically, the results show that 26 of 39 retail markets are classified as attractive or neutral, despite the prevailing negative sentiment and structural changes to consumer behaviour; London West End and City are amongst the best ranked office markets, regardless of the prolonged uncertainty of Brexit; and Dublin logistics is an unexpected beneficiary from Brexit-related supply chain re-alignment, as supply chains are re-aligned directly into the Irish capital rather than via mainland Britain.

Practically, the overall outlook is positive for core investors across the board. But, value-add strategies in UK retail with a focus on change-of-use and redevelopment can be attractive. Also, development in urban logistics should fit with core plus risk appetite in attractive markets.

Rob Wilkinson, CEO of AEW in Europe explain:

“After the recent central bank policy reversals, the lower-for-longer scenario has now become our base and, perhaps counter intuitively, this can mean good news for real estate investors. With bond and property yields expected to remain at current levels for some time to come, strong competition for deals will continue. For those with an intimate on-the-ground knowledge of specific markets, value can still very much be found, often in places that might seem out of favour, although stock selection remains crucial.”

Hans Vrensen, Head of Research & Strategy at AEW in Europe added:

“As the European property market cycle is extended, the sector can focus on adopting the latest best practice ESG processes and reporting procedures, especially on the building level. This is consistent with our positive market outlook, as the usual cyclical risks of excessive new supply of space and use of debt are now less of a concern. We could call it the calm before the storm – with no clouds on the horizon yet.”


‘More growth to come in CEE office and logistics’

A fast-rising sector is Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) shared services centres.

The office and logistics sectors are poised for further growth in CEE, experts agreed at Real Asset Media’s CEE Investment Briefing, which was held at Colliers International’s London offices last week.

‘From an occupier perspective CEE is a very attractive proposition,’ said Stuart Beety, Senior Vice President Business Development, Skanska Commercial Development Europe. ‘The cities are outperforming in terms of growth and connectivity but also talent, with a highly educated workforce’.

A fast-rising sector is Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) shared services centres. ‘Poland is now third in the world after China and India in the BPO market, because it allows significant operational savings for large companies,’ he said.

Stuart Beety, Senior Vice President Business Development, Skanska Commercial Development Europe, Wojciech Koczara, Partner, Head of CEE Real Estate, CMS, Freddie James, Assistant Fund Manager, Tritax, Dorota Wysokińska-Kuzdra, Senior Partner, Head of Corporate Finance CEE, Colliers International and Kevin Turpin, Regional Director of Research, CEE, Colliers International discuss the opportunities available in the CEE Real Estate Investment market. Filmed at the CEE Investment Briefing, London, November 2019 by Real Asset Media.

The trend started in the regional cities and has reached Warsaw only recently. ‘It has grown tremendously quickly,’ Beety said. ‘The market for back office has just started and it will lead to more demand for offices’.

At the moment the percentage of office space per inhabitant is 1.6% in Warsaw, compared to 5% in the German cities, so there is a long way to go. ‘Supply is increasing by 20% in the Polish capital, but demand and investor appetite are growing faster’, he said. Despite the additional stock, there is still a shortage.

‘There is a huge amount of investment going into BPO shared services centres,’ said Kevin Turpin, Regional Director of Research, CEE, Colliers International. ‘They are very cost sensitive, so wage growth is a negative for BPO centres, while it is positive for retail because people have money and enjoy spending it’. 

Unemployment is at record lows and salaries have been rising in the region but from a very low base, he said: ‘Labour costs have been going up but they are still low in comparison to Western Europe. They are now 50% instead of a third, so there is still a massive gap and big savings for companies’. 

Existing and future infrastructure is another incentive for logistics investors in a region which already has geography on its side.  

‘Poland and in particular the Lodz region is in a perfect location at the crossroads of Europe between East and West, road links are great and infrastructure is improving all the time,’ said Freddie James, Assistant Fund Manager, Tritax. ‘Now it also has the Chinese rail link which allows freight to reach China in 12 days, half the time it takes to ship to the same location’. 

With a strong domestic market and good access to strong neighbouring markets and countries beyond, Poland is an obvious choice for logistics investors, he said: ‘We like the quality of the real estate, of the covenants and of the people. We are a newcomer to the region, but we hope to invest more in the future’.

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Demand drivers across Europe’s largest healthcare markets underpinned by diverging trends

Significant cultural differences in how people plan to spend their retirements within European markets inform the relative attractiveness of the healthcare investment markets, a new survey shows.

Fifty-two percent of French people rely primarily on themselves for their long-term care arrangements, well above the proportion of Germans (26%), Italians (29%) and Spaniards (21%), according to a survey commissioned by Primonial, the French partner of AviaRent Invest AG. The same applies to Italians (35%), although 28% say they will rely on their children to assist them as they get older. In southern Europe, inter-generational solidarity appears to be more prominent than in the north.

Primonial surveyed around 4,000 European seniors in the four most populous euro zone countries: Germany, France, Spain and Italy.

Mathias Giebken, CEO and founder of AviaRent Invest AG, explains:

“The disparity in family solidarity in Europe seems to be directly related to the comparatively much higher levels of investment in northern Europe. Germany and France invested EUR 1.5 billion, three times as much as Italy and Spain in 2017. The study also concludes that Germany and France are the most attractive countries for investments in healthcare real estate because of their high purchasing power and demographic potential.”

While the markets in Germany and France have the most attractive risk-return ratios, Spain and northern Italy are more balanced markets in terms of longer-term investment opportunities and demand. At the same time, the 6% prime yields on investments in these southern European countries in 2017 were higher than the 5.0% to 5.5% yields in Germany and the 4.2% to 5.25% available in France.

Giebken added:

“By 2050 the proportion of the population over the age of 80 in Europe will more than double as the generation of baby boomers ages. Given the fact that there is already very strong demand for care facilities, we are facing an acute housing problem across the whole of Europe. In Germany alone, around 80 billion will have to be invested in new and modernised care facilities over the next 10 years. In future, investors should increasingly develop partnerships with international players who focus on urbanised and qualitative locations with high purchasing power and strong demographic potential.”

The study by BVA Opinion also concludes that there is an investment potential of several billion euros in healthcare real estate to redress the existing undersupply of nursing places. Due to the massive effects of demographic change, public health care funds will be limited by budget constraints, especially in Europe, and the private sector will play an increasingly important role.

Giebken added:

“The decisive criterion is the choice of location. Proximity to city centres or to larger metropolitan areas should be ensured in order to guarantee high market liquidity. We also invest in rural regions, but only where our intensive location analyses have registered net population growth. We are certainly seeing growing interest in larger-scale developments and our Assisted Living Plus product line, which creates senior residences with a neighbourhood character. Demand is growing for small residential parks, communities with day-care centres, shared canteens and outpatient care. We are seeing a real shift away from pure care facilities towards new forms of living.”