During Q4 2020 & Q1 2021, we continued to see fluctuating cases of COVID-19, however optimism surrounding the deployment of vaccines announced in November 2020 has bolstered the global market towards a slow recovery. Despite this positive news, we continue to take a longer term view on the markets and have extended our planned acquisitions while we continue to monitor economic and market developments. As such, we continue to have multiple properties under contract which have been renegotiated. The sellers of these properties have agreed to extend the closing until Q2 2021, providing sufficient time to re-evaluate the evolving COVID-19 situation.
Key Highlights Include:
- Contract negotiations for two commercial properties have been extended until Q2 2021 as we re-evaluate the COVID-19 pandemic.
- US Operations continue to extend and renegotiate lease rental increases with tenants, which includes over eight increases at our properties across the state.
Performance & Progress
The portfolio continues to weather the current economic climate, largely because of our heavily medically biased portfolio providing for a strong anchor. However, some tenants have noted liquidity issues due to a lack of government support after the first tranche of funding earlier this year came to a halt. Furthermore, we continue to keep the dialogue open with all our tenants to ensure we are available to answer questions and provide support where needed.
There exists the possibility of rent relief or vacancy in the next two quarters as the market continues to recover, which could have some correlation with the recently agreed stimulus package, however we feel well equipped to deal with this through a combination of support from reduced dividends and our team’s ability to slowly re-lease units, as they have shown through the past quarter’s operational performance.
Though this period has had its challenges, we foresee a brighter future due to the deployment of the vaccine being administered at pace throughout the US. We believe that we have passed the most challenging stage of the pandemic’s economic downturn and are optimistic about further stabilization.