The real estate market is garnering a large amount of unwanted discussions with murmurings of a property crash beginning to get louder.
While many investors are suggesting there is a new property boom taking place, others are viewing it as bubble conditions.
The real estate market is proving particularly hot in places such as London, where Eastern European oligarchs are investing a lot of money, but also on a global basis.
According to the latest Franklin Templeton Global Investor Sentiment Survey, European investors are turning bullish on equities and properties, in particular.
Among this number, Italian and UK investors think property and alternatives will be the best performing asset classes over the next 10 years.
With that in mind, Citywire Global has taken a look at the best performing specialist managers investing in the global property equity sector to see who have been the best to ride the tide.
Over the three years to the end of March 2014, the average manager in the 59-strong sector returned 16.24%. In comparison, 46 managers outperformed the average return, while 13 have underperformed it.
Over the same timeframe, the most commonly held benchmark, the EPRA/NAREIT Developed TR USD, posted a 27.68% gain. So who stood out? Let’s take a closer look at the three best performers.
3. Frédéric Tempel and Salma Baho, AXA Investment Managers
Total Return (April 2011 – March 2014): 27.09%
The fund, which the managers describe as higher risk, has its biggest country exposure in the US (50.48%), but is invested also in Japan, UK, Australia, Hong Kong and also in France, where the fund holds double the benchmark allocation.
Among its main stocks are the US companies Simon Property Group and Avalon Bay, the Japanese Mitsubishi Estate and the French Terreis.
2. Michael Lipsch and Andrej Antonijevic, ING IM
Total return (April 2011 – March 2014): 27.46%
Sitting in second place is ING IM duo Michael Lipsch and Andrej Antonijevic, who returned 27.46% over the last three years. The fund mainly invests in real estate investment companies, where it is currently overweight, while running an underweight to real estate developers.
Its main holdings are in the US (55%), Asia Pacific (16%) and Japan (16%). Europe is the fourth largest exposure, at 11.82%, which represents an underweight compared to the benchmark. Ventas, Sumitomo Realty&Development and the Essex Property Trust are the main stock bets.
1. Michael Winer and Jason Wolf, Third Avenue
Total return (April 2011 – March 2014): 31.76%
The New York-based duo's Third Avenue (Dub) Real Estate is invested mainly in the US (37.3%), United Kingdom (16.5%) and Hong Kong (11.6%). Winer and Wolf’s top holdings are the North American Forest City Enterprises, Songbird Estates and Cheung Kong Holdings.
The $2.3 billion of assets have been placed in equities (79.5%), but there is also some fixed income (2.4%) and a 18.1% in cash and equivalents.