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"NATIONAL REIT PERSPECTIVE"

Originally appeared inNew Mexico Apartment Report Vol. 5.2 - Q2í98
According to the Cohen & Steers Equity Income Fund report for 1997, ď1997 proved to be very rewarding for nearly every participant in the real estate securities industry. REIT share prices once again exhibited stability amid turbulent financial market conditions, demonstrating their low correlation to other asset classes. Yet, they still provided investment returns which were well above their historic norm. During 1997, Wall Street underwrote over $30 Billion of REIT securities, more than double the previous record amount sold in 1993. As a result, the market capitalization of equity REITís grew by over 60% to $145 billion. The mutual fund industry enjoyed record inflows into real estate funds, which are now one of the most popular new asset classes. REITís acquired an unprecedented $5 billion in property in 1997, becoming the single most important source of capital for the real estate industry. They grew in number for the first time since 1994, the result of IPO activity which included some of the financial marketís largest initial offerings of the year. REITs also participated in a record amount of merger and acquisition activity, including some of the largest, most visible and controversial of 1997. Whereas several years ago no REIT had a stock market capitalization of more than $1 billion, by year end there were 50. REITs enjoyed solid earnings growth, averaging approximately 11% per share, with dividends increasing at a slower, but still respectable, 6% pace.Ē


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by Todd Clarke CCIM (www.nmcomreal.com/nmcomreal)
 
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