The massive real estate correction that began in 2008 is causing investors to rethink how they design, implement and monitor their investment programs. In the new investment climate, new questions have risen: Did the use of leverage improve risk-adjusted performance or was it simply a tool to amplify returns? Did the early success of some funds breed ever-larger funds that were doomed to fail? What is the relationship between investment vintage period and the economic cycle?
From the Current Issue
Real estate investment managers around the globe continue to suffer from adverse conditions in the financial markets and property markets, although there are some rays of sunshine starting to emerge through the dark clouds. It's still a work in progress as they battle through the deleveraging process and continue to take write-downs on assets. These trends are reflected in the findings of a recent global survey of real estate investment managers conducted by Feri Property Funds Research in association with Institutional Real Estate, Inc.
On my last trip to Japan, after meeting with several large investors and attending a real estate conference, I found out that all of Japan’s old demons start with a “D.” Here they are in order of importance: demographics, deflation, debt and Democratic Party.
The ties that bind the limited partners that invest in real estate funds to the general partners that manage them have been worn hair-thin by the financial crisis. How can the two “sides” best work together now?
In 2009, the significant increase in equity values, contrasted against the severe contraction of real estate values, allowed the equity markets to outperform the non-listed real estate market. Despite these recent conditions, risk-adjusted returns for real estate over a 10-year timeframe remain attractive relative to bonds and have far exceeded the equity market. We see a number of trends that lead us to believe, broadly speaking, that real estate values may be approaching a trough and that a recovery, albeit a bumpy one, is imminent.