Ron Bohlert, managing director of the global corporate client group of the NYSE, joined REIT.com for a video interview during REITWise 2014: NAREIT’s Law, Accounting and Finance Conference held in Boca Raton, Fla.
Bohlert was asked to discuss some of the initial trends in the market for REIT initial public offerings (IPOs) in 2014. Bohlert described the 2013 IPO market as “incredibly active.” Overall, 230 companies listed in 2013 (half of those on the NYSE), generating approximately $55 billion in new capital. Seventeen REITs listed and raised a combined total of $4.5 billion.
Bohlert noted that REIT IPO activity waned in the first quarter of 2014. The pipeline for new REIT offerings in the rest of this year still appears small, according to Bohlert.
“Again, if you look in the overall markets, the pipeline is quite strong,” he said. “However, in the REIT space, again, it’s fairly quiet. There aren’t a whole lot in the near future that are looking to be listing in the form of an IPO.”
Bohlert noted that a handful of listed REITs are spinning off parts of the company. Additionally, he pointed out that publicly traded companies continue to elect REIT status. Furthermore, he said non-listed REITs in need of liquidity events are becoming listed REITs.
“While not a true IPO, they’re tradable now,” he commented. “In the non-traded space, I think we could see quite a few that are looking to come to the traded space and might have listings this year.”
Bohlert offered his opinion on the major macro factors that are impacting REITs.
“I don’t think I’m alone in looking at the job market. That’s going to have a tremendous impact on the REIT space as well as the overall market,” he said. “That being said, over the last few months, we have seen a steady improvement in the jobs situation with jobless claims falling. Another important indicator, the four-week average, is continuing to fall and now reaching six-month lows. If we see a brighter jobs picture going forward, that could be a benefit for all sectors of the REIT space in addition to the overall market.”