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SCPI: the causes of obsession

How about investing in stone, with no budget constraints or rent management, and guaranteeing you a more than respectable average return? These are some of the arguments that are hitting the target with more and more French people and that guarantee the success of real estate investment companies… These famous SCPIs or “stone paper” investments.

SCPI causes of obsession – iStock-yongyuan

The “stone paper” principle.

SCPI is an unlisted real estate investment vehicle that allows everyone – from students to informed investors, including fathers and retirees – to invest their money in real estate through a management company. In this way, the saver does not acquire property in its entirety; he buys only one or more “shares”. Thus, he becomes a co-owner of the property with the other subscribers and shares with them the income from their joint purchase. The rents collected by SCPI are redistributed – in part – among the various private investors in proportion to the number of shares they own.

SCPI: multiple benefits

With SCPI, the investor is not forced to acquire a complete building, the operation can refer to a hundredth of a modest studio! In this way, this investment system allows all profiles and types of budgets access to real estate: the entrance ticket can be limited to a few hundred euros. This type of purchase is also exempt from all the hassles that a freehold rental property can generate. The co-owners don’t really have to choose the tenants, nor do they have to worry about maintenance, paying taxes or even collecting the rents… All of this is taken care of by the management company. For investors, SCPIs are a source of regular income as well as an investment whose risk of loss is quite low. The management company invests the funds entrusted to it in so-called “tertiary” real estate: offices, shops, homes for the elderly, etc., in order to reduce risks. On top of that, the average yields seen in recent years are quite satisfactory: they are around 4.45%, with some products even exceeding 6% in 2021! Finally, unlike some popular investments such as cryptocurrencies, SCPIs are approved by the Financial Markets Authority (AMF) and regulated by the Monetary and Financial Code.

SCPI in multiple digits

During the pandemic, SCPI did not experience the crisis… In 2019, their net flows broke all records, reaching 8.6 billion euros. If 2021 saw a slight decline, the French still invested 7.4 billion euros in the products offered by the 200 entities active in the market. And the enthusiasm is undeniable this year, perhaps because yield results are holding up… According to distribution platform SCPI in France, the average distribution rate paid to partners was 4.20% in the first half of 2022.


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