Do REITs Have Right Stuff?

How active will publicly traded REITs be this year? Real Capital Analytics Inc. president Robert White expects them to be more active, after two years as net sellers, because they operate better in a low-leverage environment. “I see them being much more active in the recovery process,” he said.Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. CEO of capital markets Earl Webb believes they will be selective and strategic in their acquisitions, buying properties in order to enter or build mass in a particular market. “If they are seeing values decline relative to replacement cost and they see a good return, they will buy,” he said.But Hessam Nadji, managing director of research for Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services Inc., noted that REITs’ stock valuations have fallen. Thus, he believes, many will sell their lower-quality properties in lower-quality markets this year and buy back their stock.For more on the commercial real estate investment market, see “How Long Is the Climb?” in CPN’s April 16 issue (or search for the headline in quotation marks on