GERMANY – The yield spread within the Spezialfonds market has never been wider, real estate researchers IPD has found.

Together with the German asset management association BVI, IPD calculated the performance of 145 real estate Spezialfonds with combined assets under management of €33.8bn, covering two-thirds of the market.

For 2013, the SFIX index showed a significantly pronounced spread between returns of the various constituent Spezialfonds, ranging from -12% to plus 8%, with the median at 3% and the cap-weighted index itself at 1% annualised.

According to Daniel Piazolo, managing director at IPD, this spread is mainly down to diversification and specialisation in the market.

“There is a continued trend away from major funds towards niche products,” he said at the presentation of the index study in Frankfurt. 

The index also showed a much more pronounced spread between funds solely investing in Germany (0.9% for the quarter) and those investing in all of Europe (-0.5%).

This spread of 140 basis points is a “new record high” but a continuation of an outperformance that has been apparent for some time, IPD said.

Over the last five years, the annualised return of funds focusing on Germany at 3.3% is well above that of European funds at 0.8%.

Commenting on the results, Eitel Coridaß, CIO at Warburg-Henderson, said the underperformance of funds invested in all of Europe should be taken with a pinch of salt.

“We have to take into account the observation period starting in 2007, which means most of the investments have been made during the crisis when Germany was considered a safe haven,” he said.

“Before the crisis, this was not always the case.”

Coridaß also noted that some of the underperformance in certain European regions presented “an entry opportunity”.

Further, Sebastian Gläsner, head of fund services at IPD, pointed out that one-third of the Spezialfonds in the index were currently in the selling phase, which also influenced prices and performance.

Meanwhile, real estate company Hahn Group will issue its first Spezialfonds this year “geared towards a small group of professional investors”.

For this purpose, a capital management company (KVG) was set up in September under the new investment law, the KAGB, with which Germany implemented the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive.

The company is currently checked to be accredited by the BaFin and is planning to issue the first public fund in compliance with the KAGB in “the first half of next year”.

Elsewhere, Bouwfonds announced the purchase of 15 properties for €65m for its open-ended institutional fund Bouwfonds European Residential in Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark.

In Denmark, the fund bought three residential properties with 144 residential units from an unnamed Danish pension fund in the cities of Roskilde, Hellerup and Glostrup for €27.8m.

In Germany, Bouwfonds Investment Management bought seven properties from a private buyer with 71 apartments in total, as well as two commercial units in Leipzig, for €6.1m in total.

In the Netherlands, a portfolio of five properties in Den Haag, Groningen, Tilburg, Woerden and Pendrecht with 199 residential units in total was bought for €30.8m from CBRE Global Investors.

The fund now manages properties worth €644m.

And lastly, Catella Real Estate bought a property in Stuttgart for its Spezialfonds Immo-Spezial – Wirtschaftsregion Süddeutschland.

The office building, with a rental space of 9,600sqm, was bought for an undisclosed sum, with the main tenants being the JobCenter Stuttgart and the credit intermediary Interhyp.