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Nearly 40 million Americans invest in REITs

Dropping the Ball

01/29/2014 | By Matthew Bechard

Published January/February 2014

It is human nature to focus on the here and now. We are often forced to overlook the forest in order to tend to our own personal trees. Be they career, family, personal or other issues, life has a way of commanding our attention, and there always seem to be more things to do than hours in the day.For many of us the holiday season has become a multi-week sprint of parties, presents and post-traumatic stress running from Thanksgiving straight through New Year’s Eve. There is almost no time to smell the poinsettias while you juggle getting to your kid’s holiday concert, mailing your Aunt Rose’s present to Sheboygan and still completing your year-end reports.

While REIT shares struggled through a mostly difficult year in 2013, industry fundamentals continued to rebound and in some sectors approached all-time highs.

So as great as it is to watch Ryan Seacrest blather on with frozen tourists or listen to intoxicated partygoers mumble the words to “Auld Lang Syne,” the most fruitful outcome of each new year is the opportunity it offers to reflect on what has happened and what opportunities and challenges lie ahead.

While REIT shares struggled through a mostly difficult year in 2013, industry fundamentals continued to rebound and in some sectors approached all-time highs. Listed REITs continued to successfully access the capital markets, and there was a surge in initial public offerings that included some high-profile companies entering the public market. M&A activity, especially in the net-lease space, also grabbed headlines in 2013.

Turning to 2014, there continues to be questions about the economic recovery, as well as the potential impact of rising long-term interest rates. There’s also uncertainty surrounding policies coming out of Washington. However, some of those concerns are mitigated by stronger fundamentals and increasing optimism about the year to come.

In a roundtable conversation among leading REIT analysts in this issue, participants shared their insights on which sectors they expected to outperform and which ones might face the strongest headwinds. While those opinions varied amongst the analysts, a common theme expressed was confidence in the strong management teams in the REIT industry to overcome potential challenges, capitalize on opportunities and effectively execute growth plans in 2014 and beyond.

 

Matthew Bechard
Editor in Chief

Column/Department: 

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