2023 has seen a modest rebound for REITs despite rates continuing to move higher, no indications of an imminent Fed pivot, and a serious crisis in commercial real estate. One factor is that overall revenues have stabilized and balance sheets remain healthy. Another factor is that healthcare and industrial REITs are seeing revenue growth at a nearly double-digit rate despite the headwind of higher rates.
During Q2 earnings season, funds from operations climbed 4.2% compared to last year’s Q2, totaling $20.6 billion. There is also no compromise in terms of financing with 79% of REITs using unsecured debt with 91% of overall debt locked in at fixed rates, meaning there is less sensitivity to rates.
Another silver lining is that leverage ratios remain below 35% while the average term to maturity is close to seven years. In total for publicly traded REITs, the cost of capital is currently 4%. Given these financials, REITs are also better to take advantage of turmoil in real estate markets as they will be able to access financing at a lower cost of capital than private market operators.
Finsum: Q2 earnings season is over. The much maligned REIT sector continues to see stable revenue growth and healthy financials despite a challenging environment.