(Bloomberg) -- The Brexit vote may offer a silver lining for UK commercial real estate.
The UK will be Europe’s best performing real estate market over the next five years because UK property yields are less vulnerable to rate hikes than continental peers, according to a report published Thursday by AEW, which managed 87.8 billion euros ($91.5 billion) of property at the end of June. That’s because properties in the UK have been trading at a discount compared with European peers since Brexit and that’s created a buffer.
The 2016 vote to leave the European Union prompted some international investors to pour more capital into other parts of Europe as the break by the UK from its biggest trading partner created uncertainty. That helped stoke red-hot demand for buildings in cities including Paris, Berlin and Milan that forced prices to record levels, with the help of cheap debt.
Those elevated prices and anemic returns now look less attractive as interest rates and government bond yields rise, meaning some parts of Europe are more exposed to a real estate correction.
The UK’s forecasted outperformance “is mostly due to UK bond and property yields staying at higher levels over the last few years when compared with the continent, due to Brexit and the Bank of England’s earlier rate hikes,” AEW head of research and strategy Europe Hans Vrensen wrote in the report.
Out of 168 markets, AEW classes just five as attractive. Another 47 were classified as neutral and the remainder as less attractive, according to the report.
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