E-commerce and remote working may be a good thing for consumers, but not for real estate investment trusts (REITs) and their investors.

In 2020, all but one of the 45 listed REITs on the ASX has declined. The odd one out is agricultural-focused Rural Funds Group (ASX:RFF) and its gain is only 2 per cent.

Code Name Price Total Return YTD Market Cap
RFF RURAL FUNDS GROUP 1.93 2.22 656.80M
GMG GOODMAN GROUP 13.04 -2.47 23.97B
VTH VITALHARVEST FREEHOLD TRUST 0.69 -2.9 133.20M
NSR NATIONAL STORAGE REIT 1.68 -8.17 1.33B
AQR APN CONVENIENCE RETAIL REIT 3.09 -9.71 293.47M
VVR VIVA ENERGY REIT 2.37 -10.9 1.84B
BWP BWP TRUST 3.44 -12.24 2.21B
BWR BLACKWALL PROPERTY TRUST 1.23 -12.28 183.42M
APZ ASPEN GROUP 1.03 -12.71 95.36M
TOT 360 CAPITAL REIT 0.88 -14.34 124.23M
QPR QUATTRO PLUS REAL ESTATE 0.95 -15.18 76.33M
APW AIMS PROPERTY SECURITIES FUN 1.2 -17.06 53.84M
CLW CHARTER HALL LONG WALE REIT 4.43 -18.1 2.15B
SCP SHOPPING CENTRES AUSTRALASIA 2.16 -19.1 2.32B
CIP CENTURIA INDUSTRIAL REIT 2.62 -20.17 1.04B
TGP 360 CAPITAL GROUP LTD 0.88 -20.24 200.86M
ARF ARENA REIT 2.23 -21.75 653.09M
DXS DEXUS 8.94 -23.59 9.71B
HPI HOTEL PROPERTY INVESTMENTS 2.37 -25 369.06M
ECF ELANOR COMMERCIAL PROPERTY F 0.9 -25.41 181.92M
INA INGENIA COMMUNITIES GROUP 3.65 -25.62 1.01B
ADI APN INDUSTRIA REIT 2.11 -25.92 415.02M
LEP ALE PROPERTY GROUP 4.14 -26.2 820.27M
CQE CHARTER HALL SOCIAL INFRASTR 2.3 -27.24 694.77M
AOF AUSTRALIAN UNITY OFFICE FUND 2.03 -27.78 338.69M
IAP INVESTEC AUSTRALIA PROPERTY 1.05 -28.47 660.20M
CQR CHARTER HALL RETAIL REIT 3.01 -29.51 1.40B
GOZ GROWTHPOINT PROPERTIES AUSTRALIA 2.92 -29.64 2.25B
GDI GDI PROPERTY GROUP 1.04 -29.66 558.60M
GPT GPT GROUP 3.91 -30.18 7.54B
ABP ABACUS PROPERTY GROUP 2.46 -31.67 1.61B
MGR MIRVAC GROUP 2.16 -31.92 8.34B
CHC CHARTER HALL GROUP 7.41 -33.17 3.27B
CMW CROMWELL PROPERTY GROUP 0.76 -33.55 1.96B
COF CENTURIA OFFICE REIT 1.86 -34.22 964.73M
GDF GARDA PROPERTY GROUP 0.89 -36.11 163.11M
ERF ELANOR RETAIL PROPERTY FUND 0.76 -39.68 94.62M
SGP STOCKLAND 2.76 -40.37 6.58B
AVN AVENTUS GROUP 1.66 -41.14 869.10M
SCG SCENTRE GROUP 2.18 -41.38 10.95B
VCX VICINITY CENTRES 1.38 -44.78 5.00B
CDP CARINDALE PROPERTY TRUST 3.2 -44.83 220.50M
AGJ AGRICULTURAL LAND TRUST 0.02 -62.71 2.15M
BWF BLACKWALL LTD 0.3 -65.96 19.89M
URF US MASTERS RESIDENTIAL PROPE 0.22 -74.14 89.55M

 

Yesterday ratings agency S&P Global Ratings assigned a negative outlook to 27 per cent of Australian and New Zealand listed REITs and said more could follow in the longer term.

The government has placed a six-month moratorium on evictions for struggling tenants and S&P analyst Craig Parker predicts this will hit shopping centre and commercial landlords the hardest.

“Shopping centre landlords will be hit hardest among rated Australian and New Zealand REITs as retailers demand rent waivers, deferrals, or concessions to ride out a recession due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Parker said.

“For commercial landlords, the hit could extend beyond the lockdown period if the economic downturn exacerbates tenant distress and limits asset sales or other capital raisings.”

But in the longer term, the shift to shopping online and working from home could be a bigger hit to commercial landlords because of the reduced demand for office space.

However, S&P said it expects most REITs have either strong or adequate liquidity to absorb the shock for at least 12 months.

The ratings agency credits the more disciplined approach to liquidity management they’ve taken since the GFC.