1315_Nareit Testimonials_REITweek_Nia_2022-06-27_v3
07/08/2022 | by Nareit Staff

Mahbod Nia, CEO of Veris Residential, Inc. (NYSE: VRE), participated in a video interview in conjunction with Nareit’s REITweek: 2022 Investor Conference in New York on June 7-9.

Nia said Veris is seeing “very strong operating fundamentals really across the board,” demonstrating a real resurgence in occupancy since the trough of covid. The REIT has seen 20% same store NOI growth in the first quarter on a year-over-year basis, and 16% blended net rental growth, he said.

According to Nia, the strength Veris is seeing in multifamily provides further affirmation that the strategy adopted 18 months ago to be a pure-play residential REIT was the right choice.

Meanwhile, Nia commented on leasing activity at the REIT’s Haus25 property in Jersey City, New Jersey. He noted that Veris quickly recognized that demand was outstripping supply and began to taper back concessions and increase rents. The property is performing ahead of expectations, he noted.

Turning to balance sheet issues, Nia pointed out that Veris has sold over $1 billion of non-strategic assets and has used the proceeds to de-lever and de-risk. The majority of Veris’ debt today is senior secured mortgage debt, and 70% is fixed rate.

Nia also noted that, unlike stabilized companies which are buying into a trend, Veris has the potential to generate outsized returns as it concludes its transformation into a pure-play residential REIT.