Real estate well positioned if rates rise

Regardless of the reason behind a potential rate rise, Bob Zenouzi of Delaware Investments believes real estate investment trusts (REITs) may be well-suited to ride out any potential disruptions that rising interest rates could cause for investors.

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Bob Zenouzi
Chief Investment Officer – Real Estate Securities and Income Solutions (RESIS)

Real estate well positioned if rates rise

Well, remember what causes rising rates, there are two reasons why rates go up. One is rising GDP, so a good economy and two is pure inflation, without a rising economy. So, in the first case, when GDP is rising and the economy is doing well, we want to expose, and structure our portfolio more toward cyclical companies that can participate in that strong economy. So in this case, we would be buying short duration lease companies — hotels, for example, can reprice their assets every night; self-storage companies on a monthly basis, and apartments on an annual basis.

Conversely, we want to underweight the longer duration lease companies. So, even though health care companies and triple net companies have very stable cash flows, they can’t reprice in a rising rate environment, when GDP is going higher.

Lastly, in terms of inflation with very little growth, that’s sort of similar to what we’re seeing in the emerging markets. So there, there isn’t one particular asset class we’d be buying, but it’s more company-specific and we want to be careful about which companies we buy there. So, we want companies that have termed out their debt, have low-cost debt, very little debt maturities in the short- to intermediate-term. And then, those companies that have good pricing power, where there is low supply and can endure higher inflation.


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