Impact Real Estate - Sector in Brief

Impact Real Estate - Sector in Brief

Today, real estate offers an established subset of managers that explicitly target social and/or environmental impact alongside financial objectives. Find a sector overview and insights from recent manager research in this brief report.

Impact Real Estate


What’s new? Real estate has taken something of a back seat in the “impact investing” story to date. This is changing, in the face of new supply and demand dynamics. There are already more than 20 dedicated real estate funds and more launches are in the pipeline.

Strategies at a glance. An overview of key sub-sectors including social/care housing, affordable housing, “greening” and urban regeneration, categorised by level and nature of impact.

Investment challenges and considerations for manager selection. How should investors grapple with lack of consistent definitions, political or reputational risks, short manager track records, smaller-than-average fund sizes and other implementation considerations?

Impact Real Estate


As the ESG investment landscape matures and develops across all asset classes, we see an increasingly sizeable subset of investors that are concerned not just with environmental, social and governance inputs but with measurable, demonstrable non-financial outputs. This trend has been spurred forwards by the UN Sustainable Development Goals which were agreed in 2015.

While real estate has not been at the vanguard of the “impact” story, we have recently witnessed a substantial increase in the availability of “impact real estate” strategies. Yet, despite the new and expanding breadth of choice available to asset owners, this space carries a number of distinct challenges, many of which stem from its immaturity. This short note outlines key features of the sector, supplemented by recent manager selection research conducted for bfinance clients.

Important Notices

This commentary is for institutional investors classified as Professional Clients as per FCA handbook rules COBS 3.5R. It does not constitute investment research, a financial promotion or a recommendation of any instrument, strategy or provider. The accuracy of information obtained from third parties has not been independently verified. Opinions not guarantees: the findings and opinions expressed herein are the intellectual property of bfinance and are subject to change; they are not intended to convey any guarantees as to the future performance of the investment products, asset classes, or capital markets discussed. The value of investments can go down as well as up.