1969-1974 The initial REIT expansion takes place as total industry assets increase from about $1 billion to more than $21 billion, primarily fueled by mortgage REITs engaged in land development and construction financing. REIT balance sheet leverage soars. This first high point ends when a severe recession begins after the 1973 oil embargo. Mortgage REITs are hit particularly hard and many companies enter bankruptcy proceedings, liquidate or are sold.

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Watch a video with William King, former partner with Goodwin Procter LLP, discussing the role mortgage REITs have played in the REIT industry.