It is well known that the booming online retail market takes its toll on stationary retail. According to a study commissioned by the Austrian Chamber of Commerce, 4.1 million Austrians (aged 16 to 74) shop online and spend on average 1,700 euros on their annual online purchases. High-income households buy online more often and spend more money this way.
The dynamic increase of Austrian online shops in the local retail market also increased significantly stronger than in the stationary retail segment in the past years. 55 percent of all spendings go to international players, first and foremost to Amazon. There is no other country within the EU, with the exception of Luxembourg and Malta, where more consumers shop at foreign online shops than in Austria.
Union Investment stays abreast of this development for its immofonds 1, one of the largest open real-estate mutual funds for private investors in Austria. “Due to the growing online retail sector we will reduce our share of stationary retail assets in favor of residential and logistics projects,” says Alejandro Obermeyer, Head of Investment GSA at Union Investment Real Estate GmbH, recently at a press briefing in Vienna. The company’s current share of retail assets amounts to 13 percent.
Launched in March 2004
The occasion for the press briefing was the 15th anniversary of immofonds 1. Union Investment increased the value of the mutual fund’s real estate assets by 30 percent to 810 million euros. This growth is based on nine acquisitions in Austria and Germany with a total volume of 193 million euros. More than half of it went to five project developments. The volume of immofonds 1 increased by 19 percent to 927 million euros due to net inflows in the amount of 139 million euros. Therefore, the fund’s goals are very clear. The fund’s volume is expected to surpass the one-billion-euro mark during the course of the year.