Trump’s agenda of infrastructure and defense spending, lower corporate and personal taxes, and less financial regulation could result in significant fiscal stimulus, says Corrado Russo, director and portfolio manager at Timbercreek Asset Management, in published commentary. That could lead to renewed GDP growth, more jobs and better longer-term productivity.
Also, Trump’s pro-growth, pro-inflationary policies will likely mean an increase in interest rates.
Read: Where to look as U.S. rates rise
But higher rates aren’t necessarily bad for global REITs, says Russo, if they signal a brighter outlook for economic growth and a return to moderate inflation. A brighter economy is good for real estate, because more jobs mean more employees in office buildings, more household spending, greater demand for housing and more disposable income to spend on travel and thus on hotels.
In Canada, TSX real estate stocks should fare well after a Fed rate hike, once the pain in the bond market eases and growth improves, says Nick Exarhos, director at CIBC World Markets, in an industry note.
But, in contrast to Russo, CIBC is conservative on fiscal stimulus expectations. In the same note, chief economist Avery Shenfeld says the U.S. jobless rate is too lean (4.9%) to accelerate growth much beyond projections before additional demand creates U.S. inflation, not output.
Capitalize on volatility
Regardless of differing views on growth, investors can capitalize on post-election volatility. Canadian REITs with limited amounts of growth and that are fully priced from a valuation perspective will be hardest hit by volatility, says Russo. These REITs, like bonds, suffer if there’s inflation and a resulting rise in rates. REITs with exposure to commodity and energy markets, which are trading at discounts, could see upside potential, he says.
Read: Don’t wait to learn about real estate investing
Russo offers these potential opportunities in U.S. properties.
- Office: less regulation is good for banks and lending, and subsequently for New York City’s office market. An increase in legislative activity by Republicans controlling all three branches of government means demand for office space in Washington, D.C., should increase.
- Healthcare: look for opportunities if uncertainty about the Affordable Care Act continues.
- Retail: lower taxes and more jobs increase consumer spending, benefiting malls.
- Supply: infrastructure spending would drive up labour costs and increase building costs on commercial real estate. Lower supply and higher replacement costs are ultimately positive for existing real estate.
Also read: What to do about the bond sell-off