The success story of real estate stocks was this: borrow cheaply, buy a lot of apartments, generate reliable rental income and enjoy the appreciation of the apartments.
All four points are currently causing concern.
It's over with cheap debt for the time being, interest rates have risen sharply.
Buying lots of apartments is therefore lower on the agenda for the time being.
And for appreciation, the best of times may be over.
Remain reliable rental income.
What happens to these in the face of drastic energy price increases and the impending recession?
Editor in Business.
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The stock market paints a bleak picture.
The Dax has not had a glorious year so far and is around 25 percent in the red.
The course of Germany's largest housing group Vonovia, with regular rental income as less sensitive to the economy and therefore rather solid, fell by a good 60 percent.
Only the online fashion retailer Zalando was hit worse in the Dax this year because hopes for growth on the stock exchange are currently worthless.
"A worst-case scenario is being priced in for real estate shares," says Karsten Oblinger, an analyst at DZ Bank.
He has adjusted his estimates to a much more negative scenario with declining real estate book values for the years 2022 and 2023.
He lowered the target price for Vonovia to EUR 36.
On Thursday, the share price slipped to a good 18 euros.
Clear buy prices from the analyst's point of view.
Stable earnings even in the recession?
His colleague Sander Buck from the British bank Barclays attests Vonovia that business is still going well operationally, there are no losses in the portfolio and the profit margins remain constant.
Julian Livingston-Booth from the Canadian bank RBC describes the price drops for the real estate industry as excessive: "Vonovia's earnings should remain stable in a recessionary environment."
However, fear currently reigns on the stock market.
Rolf Buch, CEO of Vonovia, assured the tenants that they would not evict their apartments in connection with rising energy costs.
Intensive care is taken of individual cases in which tenants have gotten into difficulties because of high energy prices.
Installment payments are possible.
Vonovia also wants to help in the search for government support services.
The group has roughly doubled the monthly heating cost advance payments from its tenants.
– not immediately for all of the approximately 500,000 apartments, but gradually.
Stockbrokers worry that defaults on payments for Vonovia and the other housing groups could increase.
But there is still no sign of that.
The example of TAG Immobilien recently showed just how nervous investors are.
The analyst at French Exane BNP Paribas had lowered his rating for the share from "above average" to "below average" and sent the share price down 13 percent on Wednesday.
On Thursday, the Hamburg M-Dax group fell by a further 5 percent to EUR 5.70 - prices as low as they were ten years ago.
The German Association for the Protection of Securities (DSW) therefore does not find it funny at all that Deutsche Wohnen made an offer to the remaining small shareholders of GSW Immobilien in this market phase of all times and wants to take the company off the stock exchange.
"If the major shareholder has his own interests in mind and acts against the background of a consciously passive information policy, then the minority shareholder quickly becomes his plaything," complains Jella Benner-Heinacher, Deputy General Manager of DSW.
“The major shareholder will select the optimum point in time for him to have to offer the free shareholders the lowest possible compensation.
There can then no longer be any question of adequate investor protection.
In the past, the Rocket Internet case in particular has triggered a discussion about the appropriateness of severance offers.
DSW expects a "hot autumn" from delistings in view of the sharp drop in share prices.
So far, the market for takeovers has remained relatively calm in view of the lower prices, probably also because financing them has become more expensive due to rising interest rates.
But if you have enough money in your account, you can currently buy some shares at significantly reduced prices.
Analysts tend to be a bit overly optimistic, but even if only part of their forecasts prove correct, there are significant returns to be had.
In terms of real estate shares, analysts currently see a price potential of 118 percent for Vonovia, 113 percent for TAG Immobilien, 90 percent for LEG Immobilien and 150 percent for Aroundtown.