The creation of a single European REIT regime now would create too much uncertainty to be successful, according to the European Public Real Estate Association.
At its annual conference this morning, EPRA chief executive officer Philip Charls told delegates from Europe’s listed property sector, that initiating legislation for an EU-REIT – a tax-efficient structure designed to be used by companies across the continent – would inevitably create further uncertainty for emerging and developing national REIT regimes for many years.
EPRA used the conference to release an industry discussion paper: European REITs and cross-border investment into and by European REITs, aimed at sparking discussion between stakeholders interested in improving the infant European REIT market.
In the paper, EPRA said: ‘We have concerns that the benefit of a single EU-REIT, do not outweigh the complexity of its design and implementation.
The comments mirror previous market reservations about the introduction of a single European REIT being able facilitate Europe’s varying fiscal and regulatory controls.
Gareth Lewis, finance and investment director at EPRA said: ‘I think the EU-REIT would be a good thing in practice but I don’t see it happening in our lifetime.
'If it did happen it would be market driven and not driven by regulators.’
The paper also said European REITs: ‘provide a pragmatic approach towards removal of the existing ‘bottlenecks’ in the growth of cross-border investment in the European REIT market; Remove the need for EU Member States to introduce artificial cross-border participation thresholds for investment in REITs to protect national tax revenues; are EC Treaty-compliant, and therefore provide planning security for national European REIT regimes; and will play a role in encouraging convergence within Europe towards a uniform and transparent REIT structure for national REIT regimes.’