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Performance on strategy

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Performance on quality

Core regions

The Office Fund has a clear focus on the four largest cities in the Netherlands: Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht and The Hague (G4). At least 80% of the Fund’s NAV will be invested in these defined core regions. All investments in the current portfolio have been made in the G4. The distribution between the core regions was optimised in 2021, thanks to the completion of Central Park in Utrecht. As a result, the share of the Utrecht region had increased to 14.9% at the end of 2021, from 13.1% at the end of 2020.

The Fund's core regions closely correlate with the urbanisation trend in the Netherlands and the ongoing shift towards a knowledge-based economy. For that reason, the Fund added Eindhoven as a potential target for acquisitions in non-core regions, which can account for a maximum of 20% of the Fund’s total portfolio. Due in part to its ‘brainport’ status, Eindhoven, the fifth largest city in the Netherlands, is attracting a growing number of innovative high-tech start-ups and other companies. This in turn has led to a strong influx of young, highly qualified Dutch and international workers looking to work in the industries of the future. All of this is fuelling demand for smart, state-of-the-art office space. At the same time, a high proportion of Eindhoven’s office stock is largely obsolete, and some development and redevelopment projects will match the Fund’s other investment criteria, such as the risk/return profile, location, type of buildings, sustainability score and multi-tenant character. 

To identify the most attractive municipalities for investments in office real estate, the Fund takes various indicators into account. Characteristics of the exact location (such as proximity to public transport, accessibility by car, visibility and overall attractiveness) and the asset (such as multi-tenant, large and flexible floors, sustainability and inviting entrance area) are part of the model the Fund uses to determine the risk/return profile at asset level.

The Fund has a strong preference for urban locations, as these are likely to be more resilient in the face of any economic downturn. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on real estate markets, the urbanisation trend will continue to increase demand for high-grade office space in such urban locations, which tend to be more easily accessible and offer a wider range of other amenities and facilities than more peripheral locations.

Multifunctional locations

Good retail, residential and leisure facilities play an important role in the appeal of (business) meeting places. Locations where a widely diverse group of people come together form a good basis for an inspiring working environment. The blending of leisure, culture, education, sport and work makes a positive contribution to the attractiveness of a location.

Portfolio composition by core region based on book value

Investments and divestments

While the Fund continues to focus on growth and high-quality acquisitions, in view of the Covid-19 pandemic and the resultant uncertainty, the Fund adopted a cautious stance in 2021. As a result, the Fund did not make any acquisitions last year. The Fund did identify a number of potential acquisitions, but was unable to reach agreement on pricing. Despite the pandemic, offices in the core segment retained their value. As a result, yields were too low for us to realise the Fund’s targeted returns. The Fund continued to invest in the redevelopment and optimisation of the quality and sustainability of its standing assets. The size of the Fund's total portfolio stood at € 1.3 billion at year-end 2021 compared with € 1.1 billion at year-end 2020. This growth was largely driven by final investments in Central Park in Utrecht, and by positive revaluations for Hourglass and The Garage (both in Amsterdam), Maasparc (Rotterdam) and Nieuwe Vaart (Utrecht) in particular. All of these developments led to a further optimisation of the Fund’s portfolio, both in terms of geographical spread, asset enhancements and secured rental income.

Investments 

The plan for investments in 2021 was € 66 million. The investment plan consisted of cash out for development expenses for assets in the pipeline that were acquired as turn-key assets from real estate developers and property upgrades for several existing assets in the portfolio, including WTC Rotterdam and Centre Court in The Hague. The total actual investments in 2021 came in at € 39 million. This was below budget due to Covid-19 -driven delays in the rental of office spaces in Central Park (Utrecht) that are directly linked to the purchase price, and because the Fund did not make the targeted acquisitions.

Divestments

In accordance with the plan, the Fund did not make any divestments in 2021.