06/03/2022 | by
Nareit CEO Steve Wechsler

Nareit CEO Steve Wechsler said last week that as the U.S. economy has evolved, REITs have been on the leading edge of developing and owning the real estate that houses the modern economy. Wechsler spoke virtually at the Asia Pacific Real Assets Association (APREA) China Virtual REIT Conference on May 27. Nareit regularly works with APREA as a partner in REESA, the Real Estate Equity Securitization Alliance, a global consortium of like-minded organizations.

Wechsler spoke about Nareit’s support of the China REIT journey. “I have no doubt that China will find its own way forward with REITs in the best manner appropriate for China, and Nareit stands ready to be helpful in whatever manner may be appropriate,” he said.

Wechsler also talked about the success of the U.S. REIT system and reflected on how COVID has impacted real estate and REIT performance over more than two years. He discussed U.S. stock market volatility due to inflation, rising interest rates, and the potential for a slowing economy as monetary policy tightens.

Wechsler credited the evolution of property types as helping to evolve the composition of the U.S. REIT industry dramatically over the past 20 years, and said that digital real estate-related sectors account for more than 35% of total equity market cap today, compared with just 12% in 2000.

“Despite many uncertainties in the economic outlook, we’re optimistic about the future of REITs,” Wechsler said. “U.S. REITs entered the pandemic economy in 2020 with very strong balance sheets, more than ample liquidity, and the full diversity of property types that now comprise the U.S. REIT industry.”

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