Displaying items by tag: ratehikes

Tuesday, 11 July 2023 10:21

REITs vs Real Estate Investing

In an article for MarketWatch, Brett Arends discusses the tradeoffs of traditional real estate investing vs REITs. While many people have built wealth by buying and renting homes, Arends believes that investing in REITs is a better option for most investors given costs and complications.

Additionally, the upside of real estate ownership is less appealing in an environment of higher borrowing costs. Many real estate investors are making the mistake of looking at returns over the past 30 years and projecting them forward. However, the last 30 years saw interest rates decline by a significant margin which is unlikely to be true over the next 30 years. 

REITs offer exposure to real estate as well and have outperformed home prices by about 3% annually. Currently, home prices remain elevated, while REITs are down 40% over the past year in many cases, leading to attractive yields and compelling value. 

Further, REITs are much more liquid and can be bought and sold instantly through any brokerage. In contrast, real estate transactions have massive costs and take time. Additionally, REITs are inherently more diversified than a real estate investment which means less risk. 

Finsum: Brett Arends discusses why the risk-reward equation currently favors REITs over traditional real estate investing given costs, value, and complexity.


Published in Eq: Real Estate

In an article for SeekingAlpha, Armada ETF Advisors make the case for why public real estate is due to outperform vs private real estate given the gap in valuations. Over the last couple of years, the combination of the Fed’s rate hiking campaign and weakness in segments of the real estate market like commercial real estate have led to major drawdowns for publicly traded REITs. 

In contrast, private real estate has fared much better. According to Armada, these types of wide differentials in performance have been reliable indicators of mean reversion, historically. In addition to favorable valuations, the firm also believes that the headwind of higher rates is about to recede given trends in inflation and budding signs that a recession is imminent.

Over the last 2 decades, there have been 8 instances when REITs underperformed by more than 10%. Each instance was followed by a period of strong REIT performance in absolute and relative terms. 

It’s also a rare opportunity for investors to acquire high-quality real estate assets at cheaper prices than what is available in private markets. Typically, the situation is inverted given the greater liquidity of publicly traded REITs. 

Finsum: Private real estate has outperformed public real estate by a significant amount over the past year. But, it could be an indication that a major mean reversion is imminent. 


Published in Eq: Real Estate
Thursday, 15 June 2023 08:23

More Pain for Commercial Real Estate

In a CNBC interview with Sara Eisen, Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon warned that there was more pain ahead for commercial real estate. The bank is marking down its holdings as the sector faces a torrent of headwinds. 

The most notable include the rise of remote and hybrid work which is structurally reducing demand for office space. E-commerce continues to take a greater share of spending which is affecting retailers with physical locations. Finally, higher rates have also added to the industry’s woes as many owners are defaulting on properties rather than refinancing loans. 

Due to this, the bank is posting impairments on its loan book and equity holdings which will impact its upcoming results. In the first quarter, the bank wrote off nearly $400 million in real estate loans. Solomon believes that other banks will also be making similar moves.

However, Solomon sees the challenge as being manageable and not significant enough to thwart Goldman’s overall business. But for smaller banks, it could be a bigger problem since they tend to be more heavily exposed to commercial real estate. 

Finsum: Commercial real estate is facing a tough time due to higher rates and reduced demand for office space. In an interview, Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon shared how the bank is dealing with the challenge. 


Published in Eq: Real Estate
Thursday, 18 May 2023 13:55

Is There Any Upside Left for Office REITs?

Ethan Roberts covers the weakness in office REITs over the past couple years in a Benzinga article and whether there is any opportunity to buy the dip. To recap, the sector’s struggles began due to the pandemic with remote work gaining in popularity, leading many companies to downsize or abandon their offices.

Not surprisingly, office REITs were crushed and their struggles were exacerbated by high interest rates. Many of these REITs dropped more than 50% and are trading below their March 2020 levels, despite the broader market being substantially higher. 

However, some contrarians are turning more optimistic on the sector. They believe that valuations have become very compelling especially given that public market valuations are much cheaper than private markets. Additionally, there are increasing signs that corporations are pushing back against remote work culture by insisting that workers must go to the office at least a couple of times per week. 

In addition to this, real-time metrics like metro ridership and miles driven also seem to confirm that more workers are returning to the office. Finally, with increasing cracks in the labor market and expectations that the unemployment rate will increase over the next year, workers have less leverage and may be forced to return to the office. 

Finsum: Office REITs have been crushed over the past couple of years due to the pandemic and high rates. Now, there are some reasons for optimism.

Published in Eq: Real Estate
Friday, 31 March 2023 06:01

Benefits of Private Real Estate vs REITs

It’s not surprising that real estate investment trusts (REITs) have endured a brutal bear market given the combination of rising rates and recent bank failures which have led to tighter credit conditions. In a recent Benzinga article, Kevin Vandenboss discusses why private real estate has performed much better.

As a result, the Real Estate Select SPDR Fund (NYSE: XLRE) is down 28.7% from its 2021 high, while the S&P 500 is down 19.6%. This underperformance has intensified in the past month with the Real Estate Select SPDR Fund down 5.2%, while the S&P 500 is up 1.4%.

Interestingly, private real estate has performed substantially better with many investments continuing to deliver positive returns. One factor is the reduced use of leverage which leads to more resilience during downturns. Another is being removed from the pressures of public markets and quarterly results often leads to better decision making.

Therefore, investors, who are interested in real estate, should consider this asset class as it can generate positive returns even during periods of poor stock market performance unlike REITs. Private real estate funds are able to focus on particular segments which remain in growth mode even amid adverse economic and financial conditions.

Finsum: REITs are mired in a bear market and their performance has worsened amid recent bank failures and the Fed’s hawkish policy. Yet, private real estate has outperformed and continues to deliver positive returns.

Published in Eq: Real Estate
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