should we succumb to civil real estate companies (SCI)?


To invest in physical real estate within his life insurance, the saver has, according to his contract, several options. It may subscribe to shares in real estate investment companies (SCPI), real estate collective investment organizations (OPCI) or civil companies (SC or SCI). The latter are on the rise: they attracted 29% of consumer real estate fundraising in 2021, according to the French Association of Real Estate Investment Companies (Aspim).

It launches new supports almost every month. The particularity of the SCI, compared to the SCPI: it is a kind of fund of funds, which can in particular invest in real estate in all its forms, including by buying shares of SCPI.

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How to explain this success ? “Civil companies are made for life insurance”, summarizes Antoine Depigny, director of development at Primonial REIM France, the manager of Capimmo, the largest SCI on the market. “Capimmo is a multi-support and multi-asset class savings solution, which makes it an agile product: its composition can change depending on the market. On sectors where we do not have in-house expertise, such as logistics, we can take a stake in another fund.”he says.

Alternative to euro funds

Moreover, civil society has no obligation to distribute the income, it can keep it and reinvest it. Finally, SCIs show regular performances thanks to a prudent management approach – which is not insignificant, in a context where savers are looking for an alternative to life insurance funds in euros.

“We estimate that the right remuneration is between 4% and 4.5% currently, with a very controlled level of risk, says Jean-François Chaury, Managing Director of Advenis REIM, which launched a civil company (Advenis Immo Capital) in July 2021. This brings a surplus of performance compared to the risk-free rate. »

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But thematic products have also launched on niches, posting higher remuneration. “They are very successful, like the products on the theme of life annuity, Viagénérations and Silver Avenir, which are the two SCIs having attracted the most payments in 2021”underlines Pierre Garin, director of the real estate division at Linxea.

Another expected success: Euryale AM’s new civil society, Trajectoire Santé, on the theme of health. First, the major underlying [l’investissement principal] will be our SCPI Pierval Santé, but we will gradually diversify our investments to gain exposure to other asset classes, including unlisted, but still in the world of the health economy”, explains Thierry Scheur, Chief Operating Officer of Euryale Services.

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In terms of fees, civil companies generally charge a 2% entry fee. Much less than SCPIs, therefore. “This gives the possibility of arbitrating more quickly than with an SCPI, if the performance is not satisfactory”says Raphaël Oziel, founder of La Boutique des placements.

However, the risk should not be underestimated. “I am convinced by real estate in life insurance, but beware, SCIs are less transparent vehicles than OPCIs, points Sonia Fendler, president of Altixia. Thus, in the event of a wave of redemption requests, it is not certain that the SCIs would all be able to cope. » The stone, even “paper”, remains a long-term investment.

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