Manulife US REIT

Manulife US REIT Sees Solid Occupancy In H2 2021

USA – Singapore-listed Manulife US REIT, which owns office buildings in the United States, announced that its portfolio occupancy increased to 92.3 percent in H2 2021 from 91.7 percent during the preceding six-month period, according Singapore Exchange (SGX) filings published on Wednesday morning (9 February, SGT).

The figure also exceeds the 83.2 percent average for Grade A office properties across the US, based on Q4 2021 data from real estate consultancy Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL).

But for the whole of FY2021, Manulife US REIT’s gross revenue declined 4.7 percent year-on-year to US$185.1 million, while net property income fell 5.4 percent to US$109.55 million.

Still, the real estate investment trust (REIT) executed 654,000 sq ft of office leases for the whole of 2021. 47 percent of the total office space leased last year were by financial firms, while 20 percent were by government agencies, including the US treasury.

Notably, the trust witnessed improvements in leasing activity between the first and second halves of the year. In H1 2021, it signed 305,000 sq ft of leases, of which 7.9 percent were new leases. By H2 2021, it executed 349,000 sq of leases, of which 28.1 percent were new leases.

Moreover, Manulife US REIT’s weighted average lease expiry (WALE) also surged to 5.1 years in H2 2021 from 2.8 years in the prior 6-month period. Net effective office rents edged up by 3.4 percent from US$37.96 psf to US$39.26 psf over the same period.

Aside from that, Manulife US REIT’s valuation turned positive for the first since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to 0.4 percent. Comparatively, its valuation was down 2.9 percent in H1 2021, down 2.0 percent in H2 2021, and down 1.1 percent in H1 2021.

Furthermore, the trust acquired three high-growth commercial properties in FY 2021 collectively costing around US$202 million.

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