Cushman & Wakefield, a leading global real estate service firm, released the 2020 Asia REIT Market Report today at the 9th China Real Estate Finance Forum, in conjunction with the China Real Estate Association (CREA). The report presents a REITs market overview for major Asia countries and regions, together with an analysis of properties in mainland China, and the market for securitization of real estate assets in China. For the first time, the report also includes a special study of the infrastructure REITs markets in the U.S., Singapore and India; and offers a detailed case analysis of Mapletree Logistics Trust – thus providing a reference for China to draw on in its ongoing development of a public offering-based REITs market.
REITs in Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong SAR and India are the focus of the Asia market
As at the end of 2020, there were 185 REITs in the Asia market with a total market value of US$281.4 billion, down around 5% year-on-year. Regulators and REITs managers actively responded to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic via a range of measures, providing multi-level supporting initiatives for REITs to maintain resilience in the wake of the pandemic.
- There were 62 REITs in Japan, with a total market value of approximately US$139.4 billion. Although the market value contracted by 9% compared with 2019, Japan still accounted for more than half of the Asia REITs market, making it the largest REITs market in Asia and the second largest globally.
- The Singapore REITs market was active in 2020. Driven by regulatory policies, consolidation and merger activities were prevalent and transaction liquidity improved. By the end of 2020, there were 42 REITs in Singapore, with a total market value of around US$81.4 billion and a dividend yield of 6.4%.
- The REITs market in Hong Kong SAR faced challenges and also embraced reforms in 2020. Total REITs’ stock prices dropped by 11% overall, depressed both by the impact of COVID-19 and an environment of lingering social unrest. The average dividend yield was 6.3%; the average gearing ratio was 28% which is lower than those in Singapore and Japan.
- India's REITs market saw two office property REITs issued in 2020 and early 2021, along with two infrastructure INVITs, namely, IRB and Indigrid, engaging in roads and power networks, respectively.
The real estate securitization market in mainland China continues to expand rapidly
This report focuses on an analysis of changes and highlights in REITs, CMBS and CMBN products in the mainland China market in 2020, and summarizes the disposal of products that expired prior to the end of 2020:
- In 2020, 90 products were issued, totaling RMB179.86 billion, up 8.4% and 13.1% respectively over the previous year in terms of number and value.
- Two infrastructure REITs were issued in 2020, providing an innovative model for the financing model in domestic infrastructure industry.
- By the end of 2020, 32 products had successfully exited. The disposal of R&F Guangzhou International Airport - Integrated Logistics Park CMBS, and Beijing Huayuan Yingdu commercial REITs, attracted extensive attention from the industry.
The 2020 Asia REITs Research Report also robustly analyzes the market performance of infrastructure REITs listed in the U.S., Singapore and India. Chris Yang, Director, Valuation & Advisory Services, Beijing and Leader of Asset Securitization Business Line at Cushman & Wakefield, said: "The 2020 report analyzes the infrastructure REITs in detail, including AMT and Corenergy in the U.S., Hutchison Port Trust in Singapore, and IRB Invit in India, aiming to explore the development of overseas infrastructure REITs and present a more usable outlook and forecast for China's public offering-based REITs."
Cushman & Wakefield has been involved in over 100 real estate securitization projects
As one of the professional firm earliest engaged in the practice and research of REITs in China, Cushman & Wakefield has been actively participating in the development of China's real estate securitization. By May 2021, it had completed due diligence and valuation work for 113 issued REITs, CMBS and CMBN projects, with a combined value exceeding RMB270 billion. Representative projects include Cainiao Network Logistics, the first expandable REIT in China; Poly multifamily, China's first shelf offering renting house REIT; Shenzhen Anju Group’s Talent Apartment, the first talent apartment REIT in China; and Suning Yunxin, the first REIT allowed for subsequent issuance in China.
Public offering infrastructure REITs to arrive in the China market soon
Recently, nine public offered infrastructure REITs products gained official registration permission from the China Securities Regulatory Commission and have entered the sale stage. This development was one of the focus of discussion among participants at the China Real Estate Finance Forum. Feng Hu, Senior Director, Head of Valuation & Advisory Services, North China, Cushman & Wakefield, said, "As the nine public offered infrastructure REITs pilot projects entered the sale stage, the long-expected REITs market in China finally drew back the curtain. Cushman & Wakefield was excited to be involved in the due diligence and valuation work of five of these projects. The underlying assets include logistics warehousing, industrial parks, waste disposal and power generation facilities. Cushman & Wakefield supports the sustainable and healthy growth of the public offered infrastructure REITs with its experience and professional services.
Sean Wang, Vice President, Greater China, and Managing Director, North China, Cushman & Wakefield concluded, "The public offered infrastructure REITs pilot projects are of practical significance to support the implementation of major national strategies, deepen the structural reform of the financial supply side, help to revitalize infrastructure stock assets, and strengthen the capital market’s attributes and objectives in serving the physical economy. By the end of May, the first nine pilot projects in the Shanghai and Shenzhen Stock Exchanges have completed their offline price inquiry work, showing that institutions are enthusiastic in their subscription intentions, with the average effective subscription oversubscribed by a factor of seven. Private funds, commercial banks, insurance companies, securities companies and asset managers have all been involved, reflecting the high level of market interest and recognition that these products have received.
Note: A synopsis of the 2020 Asia REIT Market Report in English will be released later this month