Jason Fox, CEO of W. P. Carey Inc. (NYSE: WPC), participated in a video interview in conjunction with Nareit’s REITweek 2021 Investor Conference.
Fox commented on recent investment volume, attributing its momentum to the REIT’s diversified approach that focuses on different property types across two continents, as well as the company’s cost of capital, which continues to support accretive growth.
Strong momentum in the second half of 2020 continued into 2021, Fox said, prompting W.P. Carey to raise its full year deal volume guidance to about $1.5 billion.
W.P. Carey’s core focus remains warehouse and industrial assets, Fox noted. He added that industrial remains a “deep and diverse” sector where the REIT continues to find plenty of accretive opportunities.
Fox also noted that the manufacturing sector continues to gather strength and supports interest in sale leasebacks. He noted that W.P. Carey is the market leader in Europe in sale leasebacks and has had particular success in acquiring top performing European grocery stores.
As for the threat of inflation, Fox pointed out that rent increases built into its leases are a meaningful contributor to the company’s growth. “We have one of the best net lease portfolios for embedded rent growth, especially in an inflationary environment,” he said.
Meanwhile, Fox said W.P. Carey’s cost of debt has become increasingly more efficient in recent years.
In addition, he commented on W.P. Carey’s approach to ESG matters, which includes information gathering and ongoing efforts to reduce its environmental impact, wherever possible. Fox noted that the company is also looking to be proactive on green financing opportunities.