Nareit’s T-Tracker fourth quarter 2020 data indicate that the REIT industry is recovering from its weakest levels seen during the pandemic.
Speaking on the REIT Report, Nareit Senior Economist Calvin Schnure said the REIT industry is “showing a good continuing recovery, not a complete recovery, but a recovery from the worst part of the pandemic a year ago.”
According to the T-Tracker, funds from operations (FFO) of all equity REITs gained 11.3% in the fourth quarter from the third quarter, which itself was 10.3% higher than the second quarter. The recovery is not uniform, Schnure pointed out. Earnings for sectors at the front line of the shutdown, such as lodging and retail, continue to be quite weak. Other sectors have benefitted, namely those that support the digital economy, as well as industrial.
Schnure described T-Tracker as “a good background report for someone who wants a broad composite of the entire U.S. REIT industry and the operating and financial performance of the sector.”
The fourth quarter 2020 edition of the T-Tracker introduced several new series, including the distribution of interest coverage ratios across REITs. This measure shows that not only has the weighted average interest coverage ratio risen over the past decade, but also the share of REITs with interest coverage ratios below 3x has fallen from 60% in 2007 to less than 20% today. REITs’ strengthened financial position has been an important factor contributing to their resilience during the pandemic recession.
T-Tracker looks at FFO, net operating income, dividends paid, occupancy rates, and acquisitions. Financial measures including leverage, debt maturity, interest coverage ratio, implied cap rate, and dividend payout ratio are also included.
T-Tracker is available on REIT.com/t-tracker, as well as on Bloomberg terminals.