Tags: Zweig | REITs | Kirby | rate

WSJ's Zweig: REITs Might Hold Some Appeal Now

By    |   Monday, 23 December 2013 07:46 AM

Rising interest rates have sent real estate investment trusts (REITs) tumbling since May, but they still can represent a solid investment choice, says Wall Street Journal columnist Jason Zweig.

Now that the Federal Reserve has decided to begin tapering its bond purchases, many experts anticipate rates will keep rising.

But REITs "are not quite as interest-rate sensitive as some people think" long term, because accelerating economic growth tends to push their earnings higher, Mike Kirby, chairman of Green Street Advisors, tells The Journal

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"REITs will probably do fine if interest-rate increases are tempered and moderate," registering a half percentage point over two years, for example, he explains. A big gain in rates, however, would make REITs underperform stocks, Kirby adds.

REITs' decline since May has put them "on the cheaper side of a fair range of valuation," he notes.

Industry experts say returns are likely to total 6 to 7 percent over the next few years, far lower than they've been recently, according to Zweig.

His advice: "those who already own a REIT fund with annual expenses under 1 percent and a conservative yield below 4 percent should hold on. Those who don’t should watch and wait."

Arthur Hurley, senior portfolio manager of Columbia Management, offers a bullish picture of REIT fundamentals to REIT.com.

"Certainly, occupancies are either at or near all-time highs across most property types. Landlords have been able to raise rents," he states.

"Balance sheets are very strong right now, and dividends are as secure as they've ever been."

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Rising interest rates have sent real estate investment trusts (REITs) tumbling since May, but they still can represent a solid investment choice, says Wall Street Journal columnist Jason Zweig.
Zweig,REITs,Kirby,rate
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2013-46-23
Monday, 23 December 2013 07:46 AM
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