Find value in this Reit specialising in regional offices

This Reit focusing on opportunities in commercial property outside London looks appealing.

Manchester © iStockphotos

The supply of office space in regional cities such as Manchester is at a 12-year low

Press coverage of the office property market focuses on eye-catching new-builds. But the main market is "secondary": the purchase, refurbishment, re-letting and management of existing buildings. This is the focus of real estate investment trust Regional Reit (LSE: RGL). It floated four years ago.

RGL's commitment to a progressive 8% yield plus a bit of capital return was treated with scepticism at first but the target for this year, 8.25p a share, is 8% ahead of the initial dividend. The total returnof 10% per annum sincelaunch makes its performance among the best in the sector. This impressive record has facilitated two fundraisings and resulted in a company with a £450m market value and £720m of assets.

Some of that success is the result of a strong in-house team, resulting in intensive management of properties, tenants and debt. There has also been a shrewd evolution of the portfolio, with the office component rising from 58% at launch to 78% .

Eyeing up regional offices

Despite strong tenant demand and higher rents, RGL is finding a ready supply of high-quality opportunities from forced sellers. Inglis is convinced that in time "capital will be attracted back into regional offices, with rates of return for investors of 15% easily achievable". Meanwhile, RGL has a £500m pipeline of opportunities. £20m was invested in the first half and a further £26m recently. In current market conditions and with rents rising, sales are unusual, although a Sheffield property was sold for a 25% profit in the first half.

To enhance the investment return, the portfolio is financed by debt up to a limit of 40% of value. With secured debt of £292m at an average cost of 3.5% fixed for eight years, RGL is bumping against its ceiling and there is also a £50m unsecured bond issue. The loan covenants look secure, though the pipeline of opportunities suggests further equity issuance,which makes it hard to see the 9% discount of the share price to net asset value narrowing much.

Despite this, the record, strategy and prospects for RGL in its core market, with rents rising and values depressed, make it an attractive investment.

Recommended

Beyond US tech stocks: three global stars to buy now
Share tips

Beyond US tech stocks: three global stars to buy now

There is much to like about the US tech giants, says professional investor Alec Cutler of Orbis Investments highlights. But there are many other excel…
1 May 2021
What do investment trust directors do?
Sponsored

What do investment trust directors do?

When you buy an investment rust you may not think twice about its directors. But they are an important part of what makes investment trusts such a suc…
27 Apr 2021
Share tips of the week
Share tips

Share tips of the week

MoneyWeek’s comprehensive guide to the best of this week’s share tips from the rest of the UK's financial pages.
19 Feb 2021
Where to find deep value in investment trusts
Share tips

Where to find deep value in investment trusts

Professional investors Nick Greenwood and Charlotte Cuthbertson of the Miton Global Opportunities trust pick three of their favourite investment trust…
15 Feb 2021

Most Popular

How will Joe Biden’s capital gains tax rise affect crypto prices?
Bitcoin & crypto

How will Joe Biden’s capital gains tax rise affect crypto prices?

The US president wants to increase capital gains tax – and that’s going to hit a lot of American cryptocurrency speculators. Saloni Sardana looks at h…
14 May 2021
US stocks look expensive – here’s what to own instead
Investment strategy

US stocks look expensive – here’s what to own instead

Right now, US stocks are among the most expensive in the world. So if you want a decent return on your investments, you should look into diversifying …
17 May 2021
Inheritance tax planning: the rules around gifting
Inheritance tax

Inheritance tax planning: the rules around gifting

There are plenty of legal ways to minimise an inheritance tax bill. Perhaps the simplest is to give away assets to reduce the size of your estate. Dav…
11 May 2021