As economies reopen, portfolio manager Steve Buller discusses what this means for global real estate as we head into the second half of 2020. Steve manages Fidelity Global Real Estate Fund, and notes that the reopening of the economy has been very positive for the sector: most kinds of real estate are places where people gather, so the relaxing of quarantines has brought benefits. Apart from the retail sector and hotels, good rent collection statistics are still seen in most sectors around the world. Retail, hotel and some office space sectors have been hit the hardest by defaults on rent payments. Reflecting on e-commerce trends, Steve sees that e-commerce has been taking away from retail real estate every year, and he believes COVID-19 has accelerated this trend by about two years. Customers appreciate the ease of e-commerce and may not go back to brick-and-mortar stores once they have reopened.
Recorded on June 26, 2020.