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Nearly 40 million Americans invest in REITs

Georgetown University and NAREIT Hold Real Estate Summit

05/03/2010 | By Jason C. Flynn

Georgetown University and NAREIT Hold Real Estate Summit
On April 28, NAREIT partnered with Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business for a REIT summit focused on real estate capital markets.
 
In addition to NAREIT, the event was co-sponsored by the Georgetown MBA Real Estate Organization and the Real Estate Lenders Association (RELA, DC), and featured two panels: one focused on debt and one on equity. Robert Steers, co-CEO/chairman, Cohen & Steers, and chairman, Georgetown's McDonough School of Business Board of Advisors, inaugurated the event and was also recognized by the school's faculty for his leadership in both real estate and the real estate initiative at Georgetown.
 
Speaking during the debt panel discussion, Michael Farrell, CEO, Annaly Capital Management, Inc. (NYSE: NLY), commented on how important Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are by providing mortgage credit to the home owners in the U.S.
 
"We have in this country, the most powerful financial tools, weapons and laws that exist in the world. In every market that we go into, people want to replicate Fannie, Freddie or the REITs," Farrell said.
 
NAREIT First Vice Chair Bryce Blair, chairman and CEO of AvalonBay Communities, Inc. (NYSE: AVB) commented that some investors are too focused on what the current cap rate might be and should have a more comprehensive view.
 
"Ultimately, I think what any prudent investor is looking for is that total return expectation, what's that total growth expectation for the future," Blair said. 
 
Steers and Blair were joined on the panel by NAREIT Second Vice Chair Don Wood, president and CEO of Federal Realty Investment Trust (NYSE: FRT), and Ed Walter, NAREIT treasurer and president and CEO of Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc. (NYSE: HST). Walter indicated that he expects to see a surge in sales in 2011 and 2012 as underwater and thinly capitalized owners are forced by lenders to capitulate. 
 
A video of the entire event will be made available on the business school's Web site. To view the video, CLICK HERE.