U.S. equity real estate investment trusts raised $860.9 million in capital through at-the-market offerings in the first quarter, representing a 41.9% decrease from the amount raised in fourth-quarter 2016 and a 35% drop from first-quarter 2016.
A total of 30 U.S. REITs tapped into their ATM programs in the first quarter. Five healthcare REITs raised $236.5 million, while four industrial REITs and eight diversified REITs raised $175.3 million and $156.0 million, respectively.
CareTrust REIT Inc. raised the most equity through at-the-market offerings in the first quarter, at $109.9 million. On May 17, CareTrust REIT announced a new ATM program allowing it to raise up to $300 million in capital.
National Health Investors Inc. and STAG Industrial Inc. raised the second- and third-largest amounts of equity through their ATM programs in the first quarter, raising $81.2 million and $68.5 million, respectively.
2017 program announcements
Year-to-date through June 1, 23 U.S. REITs announced new equity distribution agreements, ranging in size from $50 million to $1 billion, with an aggregate size of $7.54 billion. This is nearly double the number of companies that announced new programs over the same period in 2016, and it reflects an increase in amount available to be raised of 114%.
Multifamily REIT UDR Inc. announced April 27 that it would sell up to 20 million shares of common stock, estimating a maximum program size of $719.4 million, while retail REIT Regency Centers Corp. launched the second-largest ATM program between April 1 and June 1, announcing a $500 million equity distribution agreement May 17.
A total of 38 different agents were involved in the ATM programs announced year-to-date as of June 1, with Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner & Smith Inc. ranking first, with 15 deals. Wells Fargo Securities LLC ranked second with 12 deals, followed by Jefferies LLC with 11 deals and RBC Capital Markets LLC with 10 deals.