As the pandemic episode continues to play out in many parts of the world, early data points are streaming in, giving a glimpse of the potential impact on both the economy as well as real estate market. Sharp contraction for China’s first quarter GDP foreshadows the pain expected for other countries.

Despite the anticipation of upcoming recessions, traction remains for investment strategies adopting longer-term horizons and defensive qualities as some institutional investors moved ahead to acquire strategically located prime assets while others picked up resilient non-discretionary retail assets.

With downbeat news hogging headlines these days, we wrap up this week’s Vantage Point with news that a COVID-19 cure or vaccine could possibly be nearer at hand.

Each week, we will share with you the best reads on industry news & trends.

What caught our eyes this week

China says its economy shrank by 6.8% in the first quarter
CNBC – China reported Friday that its first quarter GDP contracted by 6.8% in 2020 from a year ago as the world’s second largest economy took a huge hit from the coronavirus outbreak, data from the National Bureau of Statistics of China showed. The contraction in the first quarter is the first decline since at least 1992, when official quarterly GDP records started, according to Reuters.

Dexus, GIC make $644 million Rialto Towers play
Urban Developer – ASX-listed Dexus has struck a joint venture deal with Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC snapping up a half share in Melbourne CBD’s Rialto Towers, stirring confidence in the office tower market.

Link REIT buying Sydney office tower from Blackstone for A$683M
Mingtiandi – Asia’s largest real estate investment trust’s purchase of 100 Market Street in Sydney is its first property outside of Greater China. Link REIT is paying the equivalent of A$24,062 per square metre for its Sydney foothold. The investment is understood to have been made at around a 4 percent yield, with the property carrying a weighted average lease expiry (WALE) period of 8.45 years.

Investor confidence in supermarket assets pick up
Urban Developer – Non-discretionary retail property has become highly sought after by investors because of its limited exposure to online retailing. Supermarket giant Woolworths has continued the quick-draw sell-down from its retail property portfolio with the sale of two shopping centres in NSW and Victoria.

Early peek at data on Gilstead coronavirus drug suggests patients are responding to treatment
STAT – A Chicago hospital treating severe Covid-19 patients with Gilead Sciences’ antiviral medicine remdesivir in a closely watched clinical trial is seeing rapid recoveries in fever and respiratory symptoms, with nearly all patients discharged in less than a week.


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