Quality Tenant Base Backed by AA-rated Credit Strength

The quality of the tenant base in Elite Commercial REIT’s portfolio helps ensure that the REIT remains resilient through economic cycles.

More than 99% of the REIT’s FY 2022 gross rental income1 is leased to the UK Government2, backed by AA-rated sovereign credit rating, providing financial stability and income certainty. The credit strength of the tenant has ensured that the REIT has been able to consistently collect rental three months in advance, in full and on time, ensuring stable cashflows. Leases are signed with a diversified mix of UK Government departments and agencies on a full repairing and insuring3 (“FRI”) basis, providing insulation in a rising inflation and rising energy prices environment.

Our Primary Occupier Delivers Essential Public Services

The REIT’s primary occupier is the Department for Work and Pensions (“DWP”), which is the UK Government’s largest public service department responsible for administering the country’s state pension, welfare and child maintenance policy.

DWP contributed approximately 91.5% of the REIT’s annualised gross rental income as at 31 December 2022.

DWP is integral in supporting the UK’s social fabric as it delivers essential public services to the community. DWP served over 22 million4 claimants in the year to February 2022, dispensing more than £217 billion5 in benefits and pensions in FY 2021/22.

DWP contributed approximately 91.5% of the REIT’s annualised gross rental income as at 31 December 2022.

Although labour demand had begun to ease, the labour market remained tight6. The unemployment rate rose slightly to 3.7% in the three months to December 2022 but decreased on the year, and is still below pre-pandemic rates7. Vacancies had fallen back, but the vacancies-to-unemployment ratio remained at a very elevated level6. The fall in the number of vacancies reflects uncertainty across industries, as survey respondents continue to cite economic pressures as a factor in holding back on recruitment7.

A new area of focus for DWP is targeting employment for people over the age of 50 to increase the total number of people seeking employment and reducing the vacancies-to-unemployment ratio. £22 million will be invested in new measures to ensure jobseekers over the age of 50 will have more one-to-one support at Jobcentres to help them get into work. This strategy provides a clear indication that the DWP continues to actively invest in and utilise its Jobcentre portfolio. As UK’s economy reopened following the COVID-19 pandemic, DWP were on the front line helping to lead the nation’s recovery, while continuing to deliver vital support and services, including to some of the most vulnerable people in society8. Through its Plan for Jobs and Jobcentre work coaches, DWP has helped many move back into work by maximising employment and in-work progression8.

With 85.5% of DWP-leased properties designated as Jobcentre Plus offices, our properties continue to remain part of the crucial public infrastructure serving the UK society.

  1. Based on annualised gross rental income as at 31 December 2022.
  2. A majority of the leases are signed by the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (formerly known as the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government), which is a Crown Body.
  3. Under a full repairing and insuring lease, commonly known as triple net lease, the responsibility for the repair of the external and internal parts as well as the structure of the property is placed with the tenant for occupied assets.
  4. Gov.UK, National statistics, DWP benefits statistics: August 2022, 19 August 2022.
  5. Gov.UK, Corporate report: DWP annual report and accounts 2021 to 2022, 28 July 2022.
  6. Bank of England, Monetary Policy Report, Monetary Policy Committee, February 2023.
  7. Office for National Statistics, Labour market overview, UK: February 2023, 14 February 2023.
  8. Gov.UK, Corporate report: DWP annual report and accounts 2021 to 2022, Secretary of State’s Foreword, 28 July 2022.
  9. As at November 2022. Data.gov.uk. Workforce Management Information – Department for Work and Pensions November 2022.
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