The 6% sell-off in global listed real estate stocks since the end November last year is, according to NN Investment Partners, “unjustified” by fundamentals.
Low interest rates and positive signals from the main drivers of real estate all indicate positive growth in the asset class.
NN also believes the US housing sector will perform well in 2016 and contribute to the overall US GDP outlook.
NN believes the case for real estate is supported by easing credit conditions, with US Treasury yields back below 2% and the German bund yield firmly below 50 basis points.
The latest ECB bank lending survey also showed credit standards on loans to households easing in Q4.
Net loan demand for housing is also strengthening, driven by improving housing market prospects, increased consumer confidence and low interest rates.
The real estate sector is, NN said, getting further support from unemployment declines in all regions and, with the exception of Japan, retail sales growing on a year-on-year basis.
Demand for office space should also increase, given the labour market trends, it said.
Patrick Moonen, principal multi-asset strategist at NN, said that, “from an investor point of view, real estate continues to offer attractive yields, especially compared with what is available elsewhere”.
He added: “Absolute cap rates, a commonly used factor to assess the profitability of real estate, are somewhat above average.
“This should keep investors’ interest in the asset class alive. From a regional perspective, we prefer the euro-zone as the ECB is offering support and will, according to [ECB president Mario] Draghi, do more if needed.”
Moonen said NN expects more easing next month.
In the US, house-price increases have moderated from unsustainably high levels but are still well-above the rise in disposable income, which may cause some pressure on affordability.
NN said lower unemployment, however, would lead to an increase in household formation as children leave their parental homes.
It expects population growth will add approximately 1m households per year.
“Taking into account demolitions,” Moonen said, “this means around 1.4m-1.5m housing starts per year, three times the crisis level but still one-quarter below the level we observed in 2005. The risk is on the upside.”