The big real estate investors went shopping in December, eying assets considered real bargains, with market prices well below their equity values. The target of the contributions was the funds holding shopping centres, logistics warehouses and corporate buildings, whose shares had been traded on the stock exchange with discounts of 20% to 25%, on average. Something unimaginable even before the pandemic started. At that time, the funds' market value exceeded the equity value.
Even with all the uncertainties regarding the path of the Brazilian economy, investors evaluated that the discounts were exaggerated at the end of the year, which triggered the wave of the search for these assets in December. As a result, the Real Estate Investment Funds Index (Ifix) jumped 8.8% in the month – the most significant increase in nearly two years. The movement helped alleviate a good part of the losses suffered by Ifix over the previous months, closing the year at a low of just 2.3%.
The recovery in December was driven by brick funds, according to BTG Pactual analyst Daniel Marinelli. By his calculations, mall funds led Ifix's performance in December, with gains of 13%. Then came warehouses, with 10%, and corporate buildings, with 7%. Receivables funds rose 4%, and funds of funds rose 9%. The largest corporate building fund, BC Fund, rose about 13% in one month. XP Malls, the largest of malls, grew 15% approximately.
The recovery of brick bottoms was helped by the fact that the pandemic is showing signs that it is slowing down, which will help improve the use of these properties, noted Guide analyst Caio Ventura. Shopping mall funds, for example, have seen an improvement in tenant sales and consumer visits. And corporate buildings live the expectation of a reduction in remote work hours and workers' return.