Best In Class  

Best in Class: Premier Pan European Property Share

Rents fell peak-to-trough by about 40 per cent after the global financial crisis but last year finally started to pick up: nothing has been built for a decade and excess supply is being used, so rent is increasing. 

All office investments will typically be Grade A quality and based in Europe's leading capital cities, as they exhibit the best tenant demand and rental growth opportunities. This gives the holdings a strong level of inflation protection.

In the retail space, he will often target so-called ‘destination centres’, with a combination of shops, restaurants and experiences (such as cinemas) that appeal to multiple demographics. 

Looking at property alternatives, he thinks there is an opportunity for industrials specialising in last-minute logistics.

He also likes student accommodation, citing Unite Group – which focuses on leading university towns – as an example holding in the UK, as well as self-storage and healthcare, where demographics are leading the market higher.

Historically there has been the perception that rising interest rates are bad for the property sector, but Mr Ross says that isn't strictly true and, as long as rises are gradual it shouldn't be a problem. When interest rates are rising, the economy is generally healthy.

Most of debt financing for companies is fixed for the medium term, so borrowing costs will still remain cheap. Good earnings growth should also feed through and rents should rise.

The risk is if there is fiscal error and markets lose faith in central bankers.

With pretty resilient income streams, growth potential, inflation hedging characteristics, low-cost fixed financing and consolidation potential, this is still an interesting asset class.

The threats, as for most assets classes right now, are that stock values are high and there is uncertainty over the economic and political outlook.

If you are looking for diversification and/or another income element for a portfolio, this could be a good option.

Darius McDermott is managing director of FundCalibre