Trends in real estate investment flows

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1 Capital Flows May 211 Trends in real estate investment flows In 21, AUD 12.7 billion of transactions (> AUD 5 million) were recorded in Australia s commercial property market, the 4 th highest on record. Offshore buyers accounted for AUD 3.1 billion or 24.3% of all transactions in 21, the highest proportion since 199. Australian investors sold AUD 2.3 billion in offshore markets as portfolios were re-weighted. Despite the negative impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), the underlying demand for real estate assets within the superannuation system grew by an estimated AUD 11.3 billion (28 to 21). Flows from these three sources offshore investment, portfolio re-weighting and growth in superannuation funds imply strong demand for Australian commercial property assets.

2 2 On Point Trends in Real Estate Investment Flows May was the second highest year on record for offshore investment into Australia s commercial property market. Real Estate Investment Flows Figure 1: Acquisitions by Foreign Buyers vs AUD/USD 3,5 AUD Mill 3, 2,5 2, 1,5 1, In the four years to 21 Asian investors accounted for the majority of the foreign buyers (58% by value) but they were not as dominant as in the early 199s cycle (82%). This is a reflection of the recent emergence of Germany as a significant investor in Australian property markets. German investors accounted for 19% of foreign buyers over the period compared with just.3% in Their acquisitions in the last four years have been almost exclusively office assets purchased from Australian entities..4 Foreign Buyers AUD/USD (RHS) *Net sales of office, retail and industrial property (> AUD 5 million) in current prices Figure 2: Net Foreign Investment in Australian Property 3, AUD Mill Offshore investors arrive 2, 1..9 In 21 offshore investors purchased AUD 3.1 billion of Australian commercial real estate assets (office, industrial and retail), the second highest year on record. A strong AUD/USD exchange rate has historically been associated with net inflows into the domestic real estate market (Figure 1). Offshore investors are attracted to Australian commercial property by relatively high yields, strong underlying market fundamentals, the transparency of the local market, the relative resilience of the Australian economy and, during 21, emerging evidence of a cyclical rebound in asset values. Offshore investors have always been sellers as well as buyers in the Australian market. Figure 2 shows the net investment of foreign buyers (foreign buyers minus foreign sellers) into Australian commercial property. Foreign investors were significant net buyers of commercial property between 1988 and Investors from Asian countries accounted for 82% of all foreign buyers during this period. The most notable contributors were Japan (25%), Singapore (23%) and Hong Kong (15%). Between 1998 and 26, domestic investors then bought back domestic assets as offshore investors chose to exit the Australian market. However, from 27 offshore investors returned to the Australian market. Net inflows (27 to 21) amount to AUD 5.8 billion. 1, -1,.6-2, -3, Net Investment Offshore investors depart AUD/USD (RHS) *Net sales of office, retail and industrial property (> AUD 5 million) in current prices Role of private investors and syndicates in market recoveries Private investors and syndicates were key contributors to the recovery in transaction volumes in 28 and 29, accounting for almost half of all buyers (Figure 3). This repeats the pattern in 1991 and 1992, following the last major downturn in commercial transactions, when private investors and syndicates accounted for 44% and 45% of all buyers. However, these buyers began to withdraw from the market in 21, accounting for just 22% of transactions. As yields tightened and debt finance remained expensive, the investment hurdles became more challenging for these buyer categories. Figure 3 shows the proportion of three key buyer types: listed, unlisted property trusts and private investors and syndicates. On average, these investor categories have accounted for a combined 69% of all buyers over the last twenty years

3 On Point Real Estate Investment Flows April In 21 unlisted property trusts (26%), listed property trusts (18%) and superannuation funds (13%) re-emerged as major buyers. Many major REITs have now re-capitalised, sold down non core assets and are now positioning for growth. Acquisitions by these buyer types are likely to drive investment markets over the medium term. Figure 3: Buyer Profile AUD Billions 6.% % % % % 6. 1.% %. Unlisted Property Trusts Listed Property Trusts Privates & Syndicates Total Transactions (RHS) *Based on office, retail and industrial transactions > AUD 5 million Growth in superannuation funds Despite the impact of the GFC, and declines in 28 and 29, superannuation assets grew at an average annual rate of 8.% between 27 and 21 to AUD 1.2 trillion (Table 1). Since 1995, annual growth has averaged 12.3% (APRA). Real estate (direct and indirect) typically accounts for a portfolio weighting of around 1%. Table 1: Superannuation funds and real estate investment pool Super real estate target* Value impact Net portfolio additons required Foreign Net Buyers Australians Net Offshore Buyers Net flows Domestic market transactions (1) (2) (3) (1+2+3) $ bill $ bill $ bill $ bill $ bill $ bill $ bill * Assume target = 1% of superannuation funds Source: APRA, Jones Lang LaSalle On the assumption of a 1% weighting to real estate, Table 1 shows the indicative impact of changes in superannuation funds under management and changes in the value of direct property values on the underlying demand for real estate assets. Offshore transactions by Australian investors In contrast to Figure 2, Figure 4 shows the opposite side of the cross-border investment flows - net transactions flows by Australian investors in offshore markets. Between 26 and 27 Australian entities purchased AUD 24.6 billion of commercial real estate assets offshore. Offsetting this were sales by Australians, so that net outflows amounted to AUD 16 billion. Net flows then reversed and between 28 and 21 Australians abroad were net sellers of AUD 6.1 billion, repatriating funds to Australia. Figure 4: Net flows of Australian capital Inflows $m 4 2 For example, in 25 superannuation funds under management amounted to AUD 756. billion, implying benchmark real estate exposure of around AUD 75.6 billion. In 26 superannuation funds grew to AUD 91.9 billion. However real estate asset values also rose, resulting in an increase from AUD 75.6 billion to AUD 88.5 billion. The real estate shortfall (assuming a 1% weighting was preserved) was therefore AUD 91.1 billion minus AUD 88.5 billion = AUD 2.5 billion. As Table 1 (Column 4) shows, throughout 28 and 29, and despite the decline in superannuation funds under management and the decline in real estate values, the underlying demand for real estate assets has grown each year since 25. In 21 underlying demand from superannuation amounted to AUD 1.4 billion, based on the 1% benchmark Outflows $m Sale of domestic assets to foreign buyers Australian investors go offshore, foreigners net sellers Cashing up - Australians bring their cash home and sell local assets to foreign buyers Table 1 (Column 7) shows the combined underlying demand between 25 and 21 for real estate assets from three sources growth in superannuation funds, net offshore investment flows and portfolio re-weighting by Australian investors back into the domestic market. Conclusion/Implications The Global Financial Crisis has been followed by a surge in capital from domestic and offshore sources seeking exposure to the Australian commercial property market. Some broad sense of the relativities can be obtained from Table 1 by comparing the volume of market transactions in 21 (AUD 12.7 billion) with underlying demand for real estate (AUD 14. billion).

4 2 On Point Trends in Real Estate Investment Flows May 211 Continued growth in demand for institutional grade real estate is likely to manifest itself in a variety of different ways: Rising asset values; Increased appetite for non-core assets (hotels, residential, retirement facilities, infrastructure, for example); Expansion of existing assets and development activity ( cheaper to build than to buy ); Emergence of new avenues to gain real estate exposure through, for example, real estate debt markets; A broadening of investment mandates to include assets in non-cbd markets and neighbourhood shopping centres, for example; An early return to investment in offshore markets. There are strong similarities between the early 199s cycle and the current market upturn, both in the changing profile of investors and the sources of funds. The magnitude and diversity of these capital flows suggests that demand for Australian real estate assets will remain strong over the next few years. At the least, the Australian commercial real estate market is solidly underwritten.

5 Jones Lang LaSalle Contacts Dr. David Rees Head of Research and Consulting, Australasia Andrew Quillfeldt Forecasting Analyst Research and Consulting, Australasia Trends in Real Estate Investment Flows May 211 OnPoint reports from Jones Lang LaSalle include quarterly and annual highlights of real estate activity, performance and specialised surveys and forecasts that uncover emerging trends. COPYRIGHT JONES LANG LASALLE IP, INC All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without prior written consent of Jones Lang LaSalle. It is based on material that we believe to be reliable. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure its accuracy, we cannot offer any warranty that it contains no factual errors. We would like to be told of any such errors in order to correct them.

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