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The summer holiday period was busy at EPRA, as we were preparing for this year’s Annual Conference. Last week a record number of over 370 participants joined us in Paris to discuss the future of the European listed real estate sector!
The Annual Conference coincided with the real estate becoming the 11th industry sector in the Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS) for equity indices. Elevation to a standalone sector follows a tripling in real estate’s share of the global equities market to 3.5% from 1.1% in 2009. According to EPRA research, the European listed sector could gain EUR 75 billion worth of additional investment going forward.
This potential is reinforced by the highest levels of transparency, given that close to two thirds of the EPRA Index won Gold Awards for financial BPR reporting. At the same time, the listed real estate sector shows strong commitment to sustainability, as demonstrated by the latest GRESB results. This leads us to believe that the listed industry will continue to go from strength-to-strength. In the meantime, EPRA will continue to focus on education and on providing relevant materials to the investor community. Not only in Europe but also at the global level. In this regard, make sure to download our freshly published Global REIT Survey, a comparison of the major REIT regimes around the world.
I would like to thank all of the participants who travelled to Paris and already invite everyone to the EPRA Insight events, planned for January 10 in London and January 12 in Amsterdam.

Philip Charls

EPRA Global REIT Survey 2016

REITs are the guardians of many of the highest quality assets in our cities around the globe, from office complexes, to shopping centres and increasingly healthcare and retirement facilities. As societies are facing the challenge to provide for their rapidly greying populations during a time of particularly low interest rates and lacklustre investment returns, REITs appear to be the key part of the solution to this fundamental problem. Today, out of 28 EU Member States, 12 have a REIT regime. Those 12 countries represent 83% of the EU GDP. At EPRA we believe that the rise of REITs, which maximise the flow of long-term rental income streams to pension funds and private investors saving for retirement, will gather further momentum. Discover the EPRA comparison of the major REIT regimes around the world in the 2016 Global REIT Survey.

Reporting on results

The quality of financial reporting by European listed real estate companies has sharply increased with close to two thirds of companies by market cap in the EPRA Index receiving Gold Awards for achieving the highest levels of transparency and compliance with EPRA Best Practice Recommendations (BPR). No less than 46 European companies have achieved our highest Gold standard Award for implementation of the BPRs over the past year, a 44% increase from last year. 97% of companies in the EPRA Developed Europe Index report the key net asset value (NAV) metric, increasing transparency and allowing investors to compare more easily the performance of the companies. At the same time, over a third of European listed property firms has won Sustainability Awards. Sustainability is the defining issue of our time and EPRA continues to help property companies produce best-in-class annual sustainability performance reports. Read more in the EPRA/Deloitte BPR report and in the EPRA/JLL sBPR report.

European listed real estate strong on sustainability

GRESB, the global standard for assessing and benchmarking the environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance of real estate portfolios, published its 2016 results. On a regional basis, the average GRESB score of European listed companies rose to 65 points in 2016 from 61 in 2015, placing Europe second, behind Australia. We are very proud to see that close to two thirds of the EPRA Developed Europe Index by investable market capitalisation has reported their performance results to GRESB. EPRA encourages disclosure and transparency when it comes to the sector’s environmental impacts and already promotes greater sustainability reporting performance through the EPRA Sustainability BPRs.

The real estate sector and the COP21 targets

One-third of global greenhouse gas emissions are a result of energy use in buildings. The COP21 agreement shows that the international community has recognised the crucial role of buildings and cities in achieving the sustainability objectives. The leading European real estate associations, EPRA and INREV, the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark, GRESB, the European Commission’s DG Energy and the United Nations Environment Programme have come together to present an agenda following the Paris Agreement. The event on how the real estate sector can contribute to meet the COP21 targets will take place on Thursday 29 September, from 15:00 to 17:00 in Brussels. Discover the programme and register here.

Index quarterly review

During the September quarterly review of the FTSE EPRA/NAREIT Real Estate Index UK’s Capital & Regional was added to the Developed Europe Index, bringing the total to 101 Index constituents. At the same time, Hispania Activos Inmobiliarios from Spain was reclassified from Non-REIT to REIT. In order to qualify for inclusion in the FTSE EPRA/NAREIT Developed Europe Index the companies had to pass the EUR 207.86 million free float market capitalisation and EPRA liquidity criteria (companies need to have a free float market cap of 0.10% of the total Developed Europe Index market cap at the cut-off date for the EPRA quarterly index review). The changes take effect next week, September 19. Read more.
EPRA is the European Public Real Estate Association 

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European Public Real Estate Association (EPRA) · Square de Meeûs 23 · Brussels 1000 · Belgium