After an atrocious two-year period for real estate investment trusts, there is no shortage of investors taking a renewed interest in REITs presumably as a discounted mechanism for exposure in a marketplace that continues foreshadowing signs of an impending rebound.
Earlier this week, the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts lent credence to this projection by reporting that in the next four years domestic REITs may raise upwards of $600 billion for acquisitions as competitors continue to sell properties while values simultaneously decrease.
Moody’s Investors revealed last month that US commercial real estate values declined nearly 23 percent between the high-water mark of October 2007 through March 31st of this year. Due to the massive credit crunch that put the global economy in a tailspin, real estate investment trusts, which were supposed to make money despite declines in the popular stock market averages and indexes, are only now poised to be among the boats lifted by the rising tide of public confidence. Whether that is due to REITs appearing wholly more viable or simply less frightening than other investment vehicles is a separate discussion altogether.
But since the March bottom in the DOW and S&P 500, REITs including Vornado Realty Trust and Simon Property Group Inc. have raised $11.5 billion in offerings. According to Real Capital Analytics, publicly traded REITs have tapped the marketplace to raise better than $10 billion in equity since Memorial Day. Just yesterday, Crombie Real Estate Investment Trust announced an agreement with a syndicate of underwriters co-led by CIBC World Markets Inc. and TD Securities Inc to issue, on a bought-deal basis, 4.5 million units to the public.
The logical impetus behind the resurgence in attractiveness for REITs is that they are now being viewed as durable entities capable of withstanding anticipated economic trends. Despite no deficiency of REITs still trailing along beneath their long-term trend lines, the larger, more distinguished and celebrated trusts have recovered from a flatline that only a few short months ago ostensibly threatened the cumulative viability of REITs.
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