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Nearly 40 million Americans invest in REITs

REITs' Resilience Evident in 2012

11/30/2012 | By Matthew Bechard

Keven Lindemann, director of SNL Real Estate, joined REIT.com for a video interview at REITWorld 2012: NAREIT's Annual Convention for All Things REIT at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego.

SNL Real Estate offers news, data and research on the various real estate sectors in North America, Europe, Asia and emerging markets.

Lindemann reflected on the state of the market at REITWorld 2008 when the market witnessed one of its largest one-day drops.

"It was like an episode of 'The Walking Dead.' It was very tough. One of the biggest one-day drops in the market that we have ever seen," he said. "It was a real challenge, because it challenged the premise that REITs are real estate and real estate values don't drop that much in one individual day."

Since that time Lindemann said REITs have been "remarkably resilient" as the sector has been able to return to the capital markets and improve their balance sheets.

"What we've seen over the last couple of years is, really, very strong performance both by the companies and by the stocks. Investors are still very supportive of the sector," said Lindemann, adding that many REITs have learned the importance of keeping their balance sheets strong in anticipation of tough times in the marketplace.

As 2012 comes to a close, Lindemann said the overall resilience of REITs will be one of the most enduring themes of the year. He noted that companies continued to grow this year and outperform the broader market.

Lindemann said there continues to be a demand from investors for companies that own hard assets and are run conservatively.

In terms of expectations and trends in 2013, Lindeman pointed to the growth of non-traded REITs.

"That sector continues to grow. My firm follows about 60 of them right now," he said. "I'm going to be curious to see how that part of the REIT investing area continues to evolve."