Former NAREIT Chair Says REITs Can Weather Market Uncertainty

Ed Fritsch, president and CEO of Highwoods Properties (NYSE: HIW) and 2016 NAREIT Chair, joined REIT.com for a CEO Spotlight video interview at REITWorld 2016: NAREIT’s Annual Convention for All Things REIT at the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge.

Fritsch said he expects REITs will be able to continue to deliver attractive returns in the current environment of global uncertainty.

“Since the Modern REIT Era, REITs have enjoyed a wonderful trajectory of growth. There have certainly been obstacles and bumps along the way—the great recession clearly being one of them—but the outcome of those tests of fire is that it makes REITs even stronger,” he said.

Fritsch highlighted the collective strength of REITs’ balance sheets and portfolios, as well as the quality of REIT management.

“The REIT industry will continue to enjoy good growth,” he stressed.

Meanwhile, Fritsch noted that while there has been a contraction overall in the amount of office space allocated to individual workers, there’s been “dramatic expansion” in the space used collectively.

He also pointed out that although gateway markets will always be important centers of commerce, mid-tier markets have experienced a renaissance from a revitalization of their urban cores.