S&P Global Market Intelligence offers our top picks of real estate news stories and more published throughout the week.
The MSCI US REIT Index reached its all-time high on Feb. 21, 2020, and has declined more than 10% in the year since then, even as the S&P 500 continued rising to new highs, BMO Capital Markets analysts noted.
In noting the anniversary of the index's peak at 1,358.59, the analysts said they expect it to finish 2021 at 1,300.00. As of Feb. 17, it stood at 1,187.87, down roughly 12.6% from the peak. Over the same period, the S&P 500 rose 17.8%.
In a year plagued by the COVID-19 pandemic, the best-performing real estate investment trust sectors were land and timber, which were correlated to commodity prices, while storage, data center and industrial property owners also outperformed, the analysts wrote. The worst laggard, meanwhile, were in the mall, office and net-lease property sectors.
End of an era
* CEO and president of hospitality giant Marriott International Inc., Arne Sorenson, died. Sorenson was suffering from pancreatic cancer. The company expects to announce a new CEO within the next two weeks.
* Real estate data provider CoStar Group Inc. upped its bid for CoreLogic Inc. to $95.76 per share, or $6.9 billion overall. The company increased the offer after CoreLogic agreed to sell to private equity firms Stone Point Capital LLC and Insight Partners in a roughly $6.0 billion deal.
* Urban Compass Inc., doing business as Compass, will buy fellow real estate brokerage Bold New York, The Real Deal reported. The deal was disclosed in a town hall meeting of Bold New York.
* Canadian investors once again topped the list of cross-border investment in the U.S. commercial real estate market in 2020, striking deals totaling $12.36 billion, even as the overall investment volume slipped 31% year over year to about $35.46 billion amid the coronavirus pandemic, Real Capital Analytics said in a report. In the same period, Asian investors were involved in deals totaling roughly $10.0 billion, helped largely by inventors from South Korea, according to the report.
* EJF Capital LLC secured about $280 million of commitments for its first investment fund that will be focused on the U.S. federal opportunity zones. EJF OpZone Fund I LP has already committed $219.0 million to eight development projects.
* Office REIT SL Green Realty Corp. agreed to sell its 25% stake in the commercial condo units at the Tower 46 property in New York City for $275.0 million. A Brookfield Asset Management Inc.-owned real estate fund will acquire the stake.
* Urban office landlord Alexandria Real Estate Equities Inc. completed the $1.5 billion recapitalization of an office campus in the Fenway neighborhood of Boston, the Boston Business Journal reported. The company joined hands with Samuels & Associates Inc. to add laboratory space to the existing office building at 401 Park Drive and develop 400,000 square feet on a nearby retail parcel.
* The operating partnership of regional mall REIT Washington Prime Group Inc. decided to withhold a $23.2 million interest payment due Feb. 15 relating to its outstanding senior notes due 2024, and hired restructuring advisers. Washington Prime Group LP has a 30-day grace period to make the interest payment, during which it intends to advance discussions with counter parties and other lenders within its capital structure.
Conference call coverage
As the earnings season progressed, S&P Global Market Intelligence reporters tuned in to conference calls hosted by some of the larger players in the real estate sector.
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