Valuation Differences Could Mean More REIT Deals, Lawyer Says

David Slotkin, partner at Morrison & Foerster, joined for a video interview during REITWise 2015: NAREIT’s Law, Accounting and Finance Conference held in Phoenix.

Slotkin discussed recent changes in shareholder activism within the REIT industry.

“What you are seeing now is that the broader shareholder activism in other industries and larger companies is seeping into the REIT space,” Slotkin said. He pointed to various sources of activism, including hedge funds and traditional dedicated investors.


Blackstone’s Single-Family Rental Venture Could Go Public in Next Two Years

Jonathan Gray, global head of real estate at private-equity firm The Blackstone Group, said he expects the company’s single-family rental platform will be in a position to go public within the next one to two years.

Speaking April 23 at the Real Estate Luminaries Series at Georgetown University’s Steers Center for Global Real Estate, Gray said Blackstone is in the process of “building something that will look like an apartment REIT.”


REIT Trader Says 2015 Could Bring IPO Wave

David Auerbach, institutional trader with Esposito Securities, looked back at the REIT market in 2014 and ahead to 2015 on the latest edition of the NAREIT Podcast.

With the year coming to a close, Auerbach discussed some of the biggest developments in the REIT market in 2014. He described it as an “exciting year for REIT investors.” He said the moves made by The Blackstone Group, including taking multiple real estate portfolios public, took center stage throughout the year.


Activist Shareholders Could Push for More REIT Deals, Cicco Says

Marty Cicco, senior managing director with Evercore Partners, joined for a video interview during REITWeek 2014: NAREIT’s Investor Forum, held in New York.

Cicco discussed the future of the single-family housing sector and the possibilities for more initial public offerings (IPOs) in the group down the road. Cicco said he believes the proliferation of single-family REITs is likely to be a “short-term phenomenon.” He indicated that the challenges of operating a single-family residential portfolio could deter new entrants from coming into the marketplace.

Marty Cicco


Fitch: REIT Share Buybacks Could Impair Credit Quality

As share buybacks are becoming more appealing for equity REITs, ratings firm Fitch Ratings is warning that they pose risks to the companies’ credit ratings.

Despite outperforming the broader market in the first quarter, shares of equity REITs in general continue to trade below net asset value (NAV), making share buybacks “an intriguing use of capital,” according to a report released by Fitch on April 29. As of the end of 2013, REITs traded at a 7.2 percent discount to NAV. In the previous year, pricing was essentially in line with NAV, according to Fitch.