Real estate management
We focus on high-quality assets in a limited number of major cities and global distribution networks. Up to 7 percent of the fund can be invested in unlisted real estate.
The fund is invested in high-quality properties that can deliver a good return over time. We invest in office and retail properties in selected cities around the world, and in logistics properties that are part of global distribution networks.
We buy assets to hold for the long term, but some portfolios have assets earmarked for sale from the time of acquisition. Assets may also display different risk and return dynamics over time than initially expected or may fall outside of a slowly evolving strategy.
The return on unlisted real estate investments depends on rental income, operating costs, changes in the value of properties and debt, movements in exchange rates, and transaction costs for property purchases. More information on the return on real estate investments is available on our returns page, and in the fund's annual reporting.
A film about our real estate management
We target a limited number of global cities in Europe, the US and Asia, with common characteristics. These cities have transparent real estate markets with sufficient scale, expected population and/or employment growth, and potential for economic growth and increased trade.
The cities typically have regulatory or topographical constraints on the development of new real estate, resulting in less fluctuation in supply. They tend to be highly connected to the global economy, have well developed infrastructure, and attract financial, intellectual and cultural capital that drives demand.
In the US, we focus on New York, Boston, Washington, D.C. and San Francisco. In Europe, we concentrate on London, Paris, Berlin and Munich. In the developed markets in Asia, we target Tokyo and Singapore. We may consider other cities if attractive opportunities arise.
We target sectors where we can efficiently deploy our capital. The office sector forms the backbone of our strategy. We invest in high-quality office buildings that will remain attractive and relevant for tenants.
The retail sector is adapting to the rise in e-commerce. We invest in prime high-street retail properties that will complement e-commerce and continue to attract retailers and customers.
The logistics sector has grown with globalisation, and the rise in e-commerce has increased the need for high-quality warehousing and proximity to consumers. We
invest in logistics properties that are part of global distribution networks and located near key transport infrastructure and sizeable population centres.
We invest with partners to benefit from their local knowledge and expertise. Investing with local partners gives us credibility and increases our access to market information andinvestment opportunities.
We have chosen to partner with large, wellknown and respected investors with a local presence and a long-term investment horizon, whose interests align with those of the fund.
The first investments
Real estate investments were initially in well-developed European markets. From 1 January 2013, the mandate to invest in real estate was broadened to include countries outside of Europe. In the initial phase the fund sought to invest with partners that have good knowledge of specific markets.
The fund announced in 2010 an agreement to acquire 25 percent of The Crown Estate's properties in Regent Street in London. The transaction was finalised in April 2011 and was the fund's first property purchase. This was followed by the purchase of a 50 percent stake in seven properties in and around Paris from AXA Group. In 2012, the fund bought its first property in Switzerland, followed by the first investment in Germany. It also invested in its first shopping centre and entered into the market for logistics properties through an agreement to invest in logistics facilities in 11 European countries. The fund's first real estate investments in the US were conducted in 2013, in New York, Washington, D.C. and Boston. The first investments in Asia were made in Tokyo in 2017.
The fund's holding lists are updated annually in connection with the annual reporting.
We invest in office and retail properties in selected global cities, as well as in logistics.
Real estate investments 2017
The fund’s investments in unlisted real estate returned 7.5 percent in 2017.
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ENVIRONMENTALLY SUSTAINABLE MANAGEMENT
We invest and manage our portfolio in a focused, responsible and environmentally sustainable manner. Environmentally sustainable management of our properties supports our objective of a high long-term return and can reduce portfolio risk in the long-term. We work with partners and asset managers to integrate sustainability measures into business plans. Improving metering systems and data management is an important priority. We have published a guidance document for our partners and asset managers which identifies what we regard as responsible and commercially viable operating principles for environmentally sustainable management.
Our goal over time is to obtain a green building certification for all our office and retail properties. We believe that green building certifications will be increasingly important for a building’s competitiveness. All our investments participate in the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark, or GRESB, annually.
When considering an investment opportunity, we assess and make assumptions about rents, capitalisation rates, vacancy periods, lease terms, refurbishment costs and other costs. We carry out a thorough due diligence analysis of financial, legal, regulatory, tax-related, structural, operational, technical, environmental
and insurance-related matters.
The decision process for real estate investments is governed by investment mandates, committees and job descriptions. All significant investments are considered by boards and committees consisting of internal and external advisors, and all processes are well documented.
INVESTING THROUGH SUBSIDIARIES
Real estate investments are made through subsidiaries to ensure sound risk management and to protect Norges Bank and the fund’s assets. It is good risk management and standard practice in the real estate industry to invest through subsidiaries.
The Ministry of Finance has set rules for real estate investments in the fund’s mandate. These rules permit Norges Bank Real Estate Management to invest in real estate through Norwegian or foreign entities. Unlisted companies and real estate structures must be registered in countries that Norway has tax treaties with or countries that give Norway the right to obtain tax information under other international agreements.
The fund’s investments in unlisted real estate are managed by Norges Bank Real Estate Management, a separate entity with a dedicated leader group.