In the United States, REITs (real estate investment trusts) are back in the black and selling shares to get their hands on more cash for more acquisitions. In fact, now that they are done with their “balance sheet repair,” from 2009, during which they sold off shares in order to reduce debt and cover dividends, they are ramping up sales again in order to fund new purchases, declared Michael Knott, managing director at Greer Street Advisors in California, earlier this week.
In fact, thanks to these sales, U.S. REITs have raised $11.8 billion in 2010 to date, which is right about half of what they raised in 2009 to deal with the recession in 2009, when REITs raised $21.2 billion, the most since 1992. REITs are honing in on commercial properties, which are expected to rise in value over the next few years as the commercial market recovers ahead of the residential one, and with commercial property values currently 44 percent below last year, this is a good time to buy. “The market for buildings is picking up, and more [are] available for purchase,” said Knott.
In fact, one REIT analyst believes that REIT property purchases could quadruple this year, rising from $4 billion last year to $16 billion this year. Jordon Sadler, senior REIT analyst at KeyBanc Capital Markets, Inc. in New York predicted this earlier this month, and many other experts appear to be on board with this expectation.
 National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts