With access to properties and relatively good yields, Singapore investors enjoy investing in REITs. Given that the low-interest-rate environment is here to stay, REITs continue to be able to refinance their debt at attractive levels.
The one thing REIT investors need to be watchful about is how COVID-19 will change the way we live, work and play – as these will affect the various property types differently and also in different geographic regions.
Even one year after COVID-19 was first reported, hospitality REITs continue to be impacted. Meanwhile, logistics, data centre and healthcare REITs are more relevant than ever.
How Singapore REITs Performed In 1st Quarter 2021
To get a broad overview of how Singapore REITs have done in the first quarter of 2021, we look at how the iEdge S-REIT Leaders Index – measuring the performance of the most liquid REITs listed on the SGX in Singapore dollars – has performed.
The red box represents the first four months of 2021 – which is slightly longer than the 1st quarter but gives many REITs the chance to report their 1st quarter financial updates.
As we can see, the share prices of S-REITs have been quite volatile during this period – rising nearly 4.9% up till the middle of January and then dipping almost 9.1% to its lowest point in mid-March. Nevertheless, they round out the first 4 months still up nearly 2.4% for the year.
Compared to the Straits Times Index (STI), which has risen about 13.2% in the first 4 months, S-REITs have underperformed.
We can also look at how S-REITs have done against global peers – by looking at the S&P Global REIT Index. S-REITs have also underperformed global peers, as the S&P Global REIT Index has risen 12.7% in the year-to-date.
Source: S&P Global REIT Index
How Have Individual S-REITs Performed In 1st Quarter 2021?
|No.||All REITs, Stapled Securities And Other Trusts, And ETFs||Price (SGD)||Distribution Yield||Return In 1Q 2021|
|REITs and Stapled Securities|
|1||Cromwell European REIT (EUR)
|2||Elite Commercial REIT (UK)
|5||Keppel Pacific Oak US REIT (USD)
|6||Manulife US REIT (USD)
|7||OUE Commercial REIT
|8||Prime US REIT
|10||BHG Retail REIT
|11||CapitaLand Retail China Trust
|12||Frasers Centrepoint Trust
|13||Lendlease Global Commercial REIT
|14||Lippo Malls Indonesia Trust
|15||Mapletree Commercial Trust
|16||Mapletree North Asia Commercial Trust
|19||Starhill Global REIT
|20||United Hampshire US REIT
|Integrated REIT (Retail + Commercial)|
|21||CapitaLand Integrated Commercial Trust
|22||AIMS APAC REIT
|24||ARA Logos Logistics Trust
|25||EC World REIT
|27||Frasers Logistics & Commercial Trust
|28||Keppel DC REIT
|29||Mapletree Industrial Trust
|30||Mapletree Logistics Trust
|32||ARA US Hospitality Trust
|33||Ascott Residence Trust
|34||CDL Hospitality Trust
|35||Far East Hospitality Trust
|36||Frasers Hospitality Trust
|38||Parkway Life REIT
|Other Property Trusts|
|39||Ascendas India Trust
|40||Dasin Retail Trust
|43||Lion-Phillip S-REIT ETF
(SGX: CLR) +
|44||NikkoAM-Straits Trading Asia Ex Japan REIT ETF
(SGX: CFA) +
|45||Phillip SGX APAC Dividend Leaders REIT ETF
(SGX: BYJ) +
* Figures from SAC Capital’s SG REITS 1Q2021 Review (14 April 2021), unless stated otherwise
+ Figures from Bloomberg (30 April 2021)
3 Best Performing S-REITs
#1 ARA Logos Logistics Trust (23.0%)
#2 ARA US Hospitality REIT (18.2%)
#3 Sabana REIT (16.3%)
ARA Logos Logistic Trust and Sabana REIT are both in the industrial property space. This is perhaps unsurprising, as the logistics sector is holding up relatively well in the face of COVID-19.
While tourism is still muted, ARA US Hospitality Trust is another big winner. Its properties are predominantly in the US, and internal tourism has not been as affected as international tourism. If vaccine developments continue to improve, the hospitality sector is another that may see a reversal from being some of the worst performers in 2020.
3 Worst Performing S-REITs
#1 Dasin Retail Trust (-4.5%)
#2 Mapletree Industrial Trust (-4.1%)
#3 Mapletree Logistics Trust (-3.3%)
Dasin is in the retail sector, which is still struggling.
While it may be a surprise to see Mapletree Industrial Trust and Mapletree Logistics Trust as the worst-performing REITs, this may be because of their outperformance as some of the best performing REITs in 2020.
3 REITS With Best Distribution Yield
#1 First REIT (17.3%)
#2 Keppel Pacific Oak REIT (8.5%)
#3 Prime REIT (8.0%)
While First REIT’s distribution yield may have been listed at 17.3%, it is very unlikely that it will deliver such returns. In fact, its share price has been on a gradual dip because of its inability to continue paying its distribution levels. So, be careful when looking at high-yielding investments.
Keppel Pacific Oak REIT and Prime REIT are both US-based office REITs. There is also a third – Manulife US REIT – that is listed at 7.6% distribution yield. The reason these REITs may be providing high yields is the uncertainty of working arrangements in US offices because of COVID-19. Many local investors may also not understand the US markets as well as property markets closer to home.
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