United Hampshire US REIT: Outlook still positive on ‘sticky’ US consumer demand

The Penrose Plaza in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. United Hampshire US REIT entered a deal to acquire the property in October 2021. Credit: United Hampshire US REITThe Penrose Plaza in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. United Hampshire US REIT entered a deal to acquire the property in October 2021. The property is anchored by a ShopRite supermarket outlet. Credit: United Hampshire US REIT

United Hampshire US REIT said Wednesday the outlook for its U.S. consumer-focused portfolio has remained resilient despite the Covid-19 pandemic and other economic headwinds. 

“Notwithstanding inflation concerns, rising interest rates and the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, the U.S. has been experiencing GDP growth driven by higher personal consumption and business activities, coupled with an increase in personal savings rate and improved employment rates,” the REIT said in a filing to SGX with answers to unitholders’ questions before its annual general meeting (AGM). 

“The manager believes that the grocery sector is expected to continue its growth trends due to uncertainties over the possible emergence of other Covid-19 variants and work-from-home trends, and the self-storage sector is likely to maintain its upward trend due to factors such as companies offering a flexible remote working model, strong home sale activities and an increasingly mobile population,” United Hampshire US REIT added.

The REIT said leasing momentum has been strong, with anchor tenants and national retailers leading demand for grocery assets.

Occupancy rates have been high due to lower lease termination and as consumer demand for self-storage assets has been “sticky,” the REIT said. 

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