After a year where many real asset markets were rocked by COVID-19, our investment teams set out their expectations for 2021 and beyond.

When we published our first Real Assets House View in February 2020, the economic outlook was vastly different to today. The coronavirus pandemic and severe economic contraction experienced in 2020 will influence real assets performance for years to come. As such, the release of this report could not be timelier.

In November 2020 and during many follow up sessions, the outlook for different sectors was the subject of robust debate among the investment teams across our real assets platform, encompassing real estate, infrastructure and private debt.

Our real assets research team had the task of shaping and refining the debate, and ultimately bringing the various viewpoints together into what we believe is a coherent and future-focused House View.

For 2021 and beyond, we see three key themes that will shape real asset markets: 

UK joins Europe in zero rate environment

In our view this should favour stronger performance of UK real assets over the medium term as returns adjust to this new norm – despite the headwinds of the coronavirus and Brexit. 

The objective of net zero carbon emissions is being enshrined in law across Europe

We believe this is likely to generate a large pipeline of opportunities to invest in low-carbon infrastructure and cleaner buildings, while aligning to net zero will increasingly drive asset values. 

New ways of living post-COVID-19 will change the real asset investment landscape

We expect to see greater differentiation of performance between and within asset classes, driven by their alignment to these societal shifts.

To reflect the varying interests of real asset investors – from those interested in single asset classes to those with a particular investment outcome in mind – our House View comprises the following sections:
  • Our methodology and central scenario;
  • Insights for growth-focused investors;
  • Insights for buy-and-hold investors;
  • Insights for infrastructure investors;
  • Insights for real estate investors;
  • Insights for long-income real estate investors;
  • Insights for private debt investors.
We hope this document will help investors navigate this dynamic and challenging landscape. Not everyone will agree with the assumptions made or the conclusions reached. No-one ever said predicting the future was easy, but this report represents our best collective judgement on the current and future investment themes we believe will shape the real assets market.

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