Publications

- June 1, 2021: Vol. 33, Number 6

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Institutional real estate gets back to pre-pandemic returns

by Jeffrey Fisher

The return for institutional investors as measured by the NCREIF Property Index (NPI) increased again during first quarter 2021, reaching pre-COVID-19 levels. The NPI reflects investment performance for 9,442 commercial properties, totaling $717 billion of market value.

The quarterly total return was 1.72 percent, up from 1.15 percent in the prior quarter, higher than first quarter 2020’s return of 0.71 percent, and slightly below first quarter 2019’s return of 1.80 percent. These are unleveraged returns for what is primarily “core” real estate held by institutional investors throughout the United States. Properties with debt financing had a leveraged total return of 1.38 percent and a 1.16 percent unleveraged return for the current quarter. Although these properties had positive leverage, the return before any leverage was lower than the NPI unleveraged return of 1.72 percent. As of quarter-end, there were 4,069 properties with leverage and the weighted average loan

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