(New York)

REITs are an interesting sector at the moment. The real estate sector is obviously past peak, and rates are rising, a double whammy for REITs. The initial reaction for many would be “stay away”, however, there is some value to be had. One interesting area is in regional mall REITs, which have actually outperformed the S&P 500 this year. There is a lot of variation in quality between different regional malls, however. In particular, the performance is bifurcating between the very best malls and the rest, with the former thriving, and the rest lagging.

FINSUM: The US has 1,000 malls and some estimates say there is only enough demand to solidly support around 300. The ones that stick around, particularly the top 20, will likely do very well.

(New York)

One of the surest signs in the economy right now is that real estate is in trouble. Data coming out of the sector has been consistently weak for months and shows a clear downtrend in the housing market. Rates seem to be playing a big part of that, as demand for housing has sunk as rates have risen. That could prove one of the few brakes on the Fed’s relentless rate hike path. The fall in real estate comes at a time when the market should be surging, as unemployment is at extreme lows and Millennials are entering their peak home buying years.

FINSUM: Besides stocks and bonds freaking out, real estate is one of the areas showing a lot of weakness, and this it is perhaps one of the few aspects that could stop the Fed.

(New York)

There is a lot of focus on stocks, bonds, and oil right now, but a very important US asset class is sending increasingly bleak signals: real estate. Data out of the sector has been growing weaker for months, and now new figures reinforce the trend. US homebuilder confidence has fallen to its lowest level in two years. The National Association of Homebuilders commented that “While home price growth accommodated increasing construction costs during this period, rising mortgage interest rates in recent months coupled with the cumulative run-up in pricing has caused housing demand to stall. As a consequence, builders have adopted a more cautious approach to market conditions”.

FINSUM: The rea estate market is slowly but surely tightening up. However, because price gains were never as over-the-top as pre-Crisis we only expect shallow declines as the next recession unfolds.

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