Real estate comes of age – The Property Chronicle
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Real estate comes of age

Golden Oldie

This article was originally published in January 2021.

Traditionally, real estate was often viewed as little more than a downside hedge for a diversified portfolio. This reflects its low correlation with equities and bonds and its perceived inflation-linked income profile. It was frequently viewed as a relatively stable, reliable but unexciting investment option.  

While this perspective has been outdated for some time, rapid evolution in the sector over the last decade has rendered it obsolete. Real estate today is a truly global institutional market with much improved transparency and offering a holistic set of products to suit every investor’s risk/return appetite. Options range from low-risk, lower-return core investments through core-plus, value-add to opportunistic at the top of the risk spectrum.

Real estate investments are more liquid than ever before, with active cross-border capital flows supporting a deep and sophisticated market. Rather than just being an add-on for multi-asset portfolios, it offers attractive opportunities and risk diversification in its own right.

Performance is no longer about buying and holding an asset and collecting rent for 20 years. It is no longer that dull or indeed that easy!

Several characteristics make this possible: the unique attributes of every single asset; changing occupational preferences; the integration of technology; and a shift from real estate as a static investment class towards an operational model focused on delivering a full service to the occupier.

Golden Oldie The Fund Manager

About Tom Duncan

Tom Duncan

As Head of Research, Tom Duncan is responsible for setting the research strategy for Cromwell’s international platform, producing investment and strategy research to advise the business and its investors on market and sector opportunities and risks. He is also responsible for creating thematic-based investment strategies, and using his experience in economic and property market analysis to support the investment decision-making process. Tom joined Cromwell in 2021 from Mayfair Capital, where he spent four years and was latterly Director of Strategy and Innovation, responsible for research across Europe and the UK. Prior to this he spent two years at JLL in the UK as an Associate Director in their Corporate Research team. He also has experience working in Australia in a research role and in property economics with Colliers International and Hill PDA respectively. Tom holds Masters degrees in Property Development from the UTS Sydney and Town and Country Planning from the University of Sheffield, as well as a BA in Human Geography from Nottingham Trent University.

Articles by Tom Duncan

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