The uncertain economic outlook coupled with the pressures of rising inflation and interest rates continue to take their toll on Australian core wholesale property funds.

Australian core wholesale property funds recorded a negative total return in the second quarter of 2023, down -2.8% in Q2 2023, according to the MSCI/Mercer Australia Core Wholesale Monthly Property Fund Index.

The office funds were the main protagonists as they recorded a -5.2% fall in capital growth, as values start to see some significant adjustments.

Retail funds recorded capital growth of -3.4% for the quarter, however industrial managed to continue to buck the trend and record positive capital growth of 0.8%.

“After months of speculation about when the market will see significant falls in value for the office sector, they have finally arrived,” Benjamin Martin-Henry, Head of Real Assets Research, Pacific at MSCI, said.

“The one-month capital growth for June alone came in at -5.2%, which drove the worst 12-month total return since early 2010.”

Overall annual performance slipped into negative territory as the Index recorded a total return of -1.3% in Q2, compared to the 4.2% recorded in Q1’23, and a far cry from the 11.6% recorded 12 months ago.

The annual results were comprised of an income return of 4.0% and capital growth of -5.1%.

As expected, the industrial funds were the stand-out performers, but with a total return of 6.0%, they are well off the pace of 12 months ago when total return came in at 20.4%.

Office funds recorded an annual total return of -4.4%, comprising of negative capital growth of -7.9% and an income return of 3.7%.

Whilst the retail funds performed better than their office counterparts, annual capital growth of -4.0% is an almost complete reversal of the 3.9% recorded 12 months ago.