Ronald Bohlert, director with NYSE Euronext, notes that REITs have been active in the IPO market in 2010. Of the 29 IPOs issued in 2010, five have been REITs, garnering nearly $1 billion in fresh capital. He also points out that nine more REITs have filed for IPOs, seeking more than $3 billion in total.
Bohlert also says investors benefit from the transparency of publicly traded commercial real estate securities, as well as from the "deep secondary market" available to quickly change positions in the market.
When the Sarbanes-Oxley legislation on corporate governance passed in the early 2000s, there was general concern that new corporate listings may shun the United States in favor of foreign markets, according to Bohlert, but those fears seem to have been assuaged. Looking ahead, Bohlert says non-traded REITs could see increased scrutiny from regulators.
New Securities and Exchange Commission regulations on trading have been put in place to protect investors, Bohlert says. However, the new Wall Street reform legislation isn't likely to have a big effect on actual trading, according to Bohlert.
"I don't see a tremendous impact on our day-to-day trading operations from the financial regulatory standpoint," he says.