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Market Update

Key takeaways: Semiannual Market Update webinar for real estate

February 16, 2022
  • Jackie Bowie headshot


    Jackie Bowie

    Managing Partner, Board Member
    Head of EMEA

    Real Estate | London


On February 9, Chatham held our Semiannual Market Update webinar for real estate, presented by Matt Hoffman and Jackie Bowie. There was a macroeconomic update covering the U.S., U.K., and Europe, a discussion on hedging considerations and strategies, and a brief update on the IBOR transition. In this piece, we will summarize the key takeaways from this event.

Macroeconomic update: U.S.

  • Banks are forecasting 2022 year-over-year GDP growth between 3.5% and 4%
  • Unemployment is back down to early 2019 levels after a peak in April 2020
  • Key inflation indicators are 2.5-3.5 times higher than the 2% target set by the Federal Reserve
  • The market is pricing in up to seven rates hikes in 2022
  • The Fed plans to complete tapering by March 2022
  • Forward curves have had several significant moves over the last two years

Source: CME FedWatch Tool as of February 15, 2022

Macroeconomic update: EU and UK

  • Strong rebound in GDP in 2021 faltered as policy responses to omicron impacted most countries
  • There is still an expectation of materially above trend growth in 2022 at around 4.7% for the U.K. and 4.2% for the EU
  • The EU remains in fiscal expansion mode which could be a growth multiplier
  • U.K. unemployment remains low at 4.1% even after government furlough support was withdrawn
  • EU unemployment is at 6.5%, but this masks some large variances across the region
  • Inflation is the major macro story — higher energy prices make up the largest component of the increase; stripping out energy, core inflation is still at very high levels
  • The question is whether the higher inflation will persist through 2022 or start to reduce in the second half of the year
  • Markets are very concerned about inflation and this has been reflected in bond yields — using the 10-year U.K. gilt and the 10-year German bund as benchmarks — which have moved up materially in only a few months
  • The Bank of England raised rates again last week, and while the ECB maintained interest rates, the messaging from both central banks provided some shocks

Source: ONS, Eurostat as of February 15, 2022

Hedging considerations and strategy

  • Interest rate caps have become significantly more expensive in the current rate environment
  • Rising rates mean that existing interest rate caps may have residual value that borrowers can often recoup when terminating existing loans
  • Of the attendees planning to change their mix of fixed- and floating-rate debt, 79% plan to take on more fixed-rate
  • Cross currency hedging can lock-in favorable repatriation rates for certain pairs/directions

As of February 15, 2022

As of February 15, 2022

IBOR transition

  • SONIA transition is complete (for the most part)
  • Some have adopted synthetic GBP LIBOR, which is Term SONIA plus the ISDA-fixed credit adjustment spread (11.93 bps for three-month tenor)
  • Banks are no longer offering USD LIBOR-indexed loans or hedges, except for extending hedges on debt that pre-dates 2022
  • Interest rate hedges do not necessarily fall back to SOFR at the same time as the underlying loans do; borrowers should review loan documentation and discuss this internally

As we look out to the remainder of 2022, we asked our webinar attendees what their top-priority issue will be. Nearly two-thirds of attendees are reviewing their investment and debt financing strategies, while 26% are focused on investments in technology and data management. If any of these topics resonate with you and your firm, please reach out to your Chatham contact to discuss further.

About the author

  • Jackie Bowie

    Managing Partner, Board Member
    Head of EMEA

    Real Estate | London

    Jackie Bowie is a Managing Partner and Head of EMEA providing guidance and strategy for the European and APAC regions, with over 25 years of financial markets expertise.


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