AXA IM Alts completes €10.8bn of real estate equity transactions in 2021

AXA IM Alts completes €10.8bn of real estate transactions in 2021

AXA IM Alts has completed €10.8 billion of real estate equity transactions in 2021.

The transactions comprise €8.7 billion of acquisitions and almost €2.1 billion of disposals, said the company in a statement.

The company had completed €9.7 billion of transactions in 2020.

The business’ real estate equity assets under management exceeded €87.7 billion by the end of 2021, up 15% from the previous year, with transactions reflecting AXA IM Alts’ increasingly global market position, with c. 40% of investment activity focused outside of Europe.

John O’Driscoll, Global CIO and Head of Investment at AXA IM Alts, commented: “2021 saw AXA IM Alts continue to invest in high conviction asset classes, including residential, industrial & logistics, healthcare and life sciences. Each is experiencing strong demand owing to long-term structural growth drivers which have been accelerated by the pandemic, not least the growing importance of technology and sustainability to occupiers. AXA IM Alts has maintained a disciplined but active approach, leveraging the expertise of its local teams to identify the best assets in sectors we believe in.”

‘”We continue to pre-empt, understand and capitalise on changing market dynamics to invest in high quality properties across a range of asset classes which meet the changing demands of occupiers and allow us to deliver strong returns for our clients,” he added.

AXA IM Alts said it expects the bulk of its investment in 2022 to be in conviction asset classes such as life sciences, healthcare, residential, and industrial & logistics, as well as in repositioning offices.

Industrial & logistics represented 46% of total investment, or €3.9 billion, in 2021. AXA IM Alts’ global industrial & logistics platform grew by €5.2 billion in 2021 to a total of €10.7 billion.

Last year, AXA IM Alts committed to the acquisition of a c. $2.05 billion (€1.82 billion) U.S. logistics portfolio totalling c. 8.47 million sq ft. The business also acquired a stake in Moorebank Logistics Precinct in Sydney, the world’s first automated logistics facility. A consortium of investors including AXA IM Alts invested a total of A$1.67 billion (c. €1.06 billion) in the acquisition. In Europe, AXA IM Alts expanded its logistics footprint to the Nordics, one of Europe’s fastest growing e-commerce markets, through its acquisition of a portfolio of 20 assets totalling c. 5.54 million sq ft. 

The residential sector accounted for 29% of transactions in 2021. In Europe, over €2 billion was deployed into key target markets including France, Switzerland, Spain, and the Nordic region. Outside Europe, notable investments in 2021 included the acquisition of a 346-unit portfolio of two-to four-bedroom apartments in Osaka, and the purchase of a 271-home multi-family tower in a Houston suburb experiencing rapid population growth.

Following the acquisition of the market leading Kadans platform in December 2020, AXA IM Alts continued to invest in life sciences and healthcare. During the year, AXA IM Alts, through its Kadans platform, expanded its life science portfolio across existing markets and made its first investment in Belgium through the acquisition of Watson & Crick Hill, a Research & Technology Park that is part of the Louvain-la-Neuve Science Park, a leading innovation cluster. The property consists of six buildings totalling over 28,000 sqm of offices and laboratories. 

AXA IM Alts said it continues to believe in the value of sustainable, amenity-driven offices.

”The sector rebounded swiftly from the initial impacts of the pandemic. The preference for sustainable workspaces providing ample communal space and accompanying amenities is a longstanding trend, accelerated by employees’ experience of remote working during the past two years. During the year, AXA IM Alts focussed on securing opportunities that will enable the development of best in class offices for the future.”

The business acquired a central Munich development site in July 2021, where it plans to develop an innovative and highly sustainable hybrid timber office. The asset will be primarily constructed of a sustainably sourced timber frame around a concrete core.

In 2021, AXA IM Alts has started the construction of BLACK, a c. 50,000 sqm sustainable urban mixed-use building in Paris, which will be one of the largest low-carbon buildings in France once complete; and the construction of 121,000 sq ft of new offices at its prime harbourside Assembly Bristol city centre development in the UK.

The business has 73 projects totalling c. €8 billion currently under development across 9 countries.

In line with its global green investment strategy and efforts to pursue decarbonisation, in 2021, the business also acquired a 537-hectare deciduous forest known as ‘Forêt de la Reine’ in north-east France, which it will sustainably manage on a long-term basis to sequester an estimated 2,500 tCO2 per year and avoid a further 4,000 tCO2 of annual emissions. This acquisition brought AXA IM Alts’ forestry assets under management to 84,000 hectares across France, Ireland, Finland and Australia.

Isabelle Scemama, Global Head of AXA IM Alts, said:

“Our belief that a successful real estate investment strategy requires a research driven approach to anticipate major structural trends, a commitment to securing best-in-class, highly sustainable space across asset types and careful stock selection executed by locally based teams is fully reflected in our 2021 activity. We are leading the market in developing new sectors, including life sciences, and in re-inventing established sectors, notably offices, where thepost-pandemic occupier is increasingly focused on sustainability, flexibility and greater amenity to support a hybrid working strategy.

“Anticipating the trends driving each asset class will again be key for 2022. Within each sector there is a wide gap in value between premium and non-premium assets. We are being disciplined and selective, investing, developing and repositioning assets to deliver a premium portfolio that caters to post-pandemic trends in demand, and which will allow us to continue to create long-term value on behalf of investors.”