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REIT Replay: Rate rundown

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REIT Replay: Rate rundown

REITs and the broader markets lost ground Wednesday, Dec. 14, after the Fed decided to increase its key interest rate at its final meeting of the year.

The MSCI US REIT Index (RMZ) fell 2.30% to 1,121.20, and the SNL US REIT Equity Index decreased 2.13% to 300.15. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ticked down 0.60% to 19,792.53, while the S&P 500 lost 0.81% to end the day at 2,253.28.

Host Hotels & Resorts Inc. announced Wednesday that W. Edward Walter is resigning as president and CEO of the company, effective Dec. 31, and will be replaced by current Executive Vice President and Managing Director of Investments for the West Coast and Europe James Risoleo, starting Jan. 1, 2017.

Canaccord Genuity analyst Ryan Meliker said in a same-day note that although Walter's surprise departure is likely to incite investor optimism, the positive reaction might be tempered by the announcement that the company picked an internal candidate as his replacement.

Shares of Host Hotels slipped 0.94% to close at $18.87.

In other executive moves, DDR Corp. on Wednesday disclosed that William Ross will be its new COO, effective Jan. 3, 2017. Ross was formerly executive vice president of asset management at Forest City Realty Trust Inc..

Commenting on the news, Mizuho Securities USA Inc.'s Haendel St. Juste and Jieren Huang said in a note that they believe Ross can offer "a formidable one-two punch" with DDR Head of Leasing and Development Vince Corno, and temper the perceived lack of retail experience of newly minted President and CEO Tom August.

DDR shares fell 2.40% to close at $15.02.

Highwoods Properties Inc. unveiled plans to pay a special cash dividend of 80 cents per common share in order to distribute taxable capital gains from the sale of its Country Club Plaza assets in Missouri earlier in 2016.

Highwoods shares gave up 2.09%, closing at $49.11.

Kilroy Realty Corp. said it will pay a special cash dividend of $1.90 per common share to distribute taxable income related mainly to gains from its 2016 sale of a real property.

Kilroy Realty shares declined 1.84%, closing at $74.15.

Realty Income Corp. after market close Tuesday said its board declared a higher monthly cash dividend of 20.25 cents per common share, which is payable Jan. 13, 2017.

Realty Income shares slid 2.60% to close at $54.65.

Farmland Partners Inc. said Wednesday it signed a $55.3 million cash deal to acquire 8,638 acres of farmland in Illinois. The transaction, which should be completed during the first quarter of 2017, will be funded in part with proceeds from the company's recent stock offering.

Shares of Farmland Partners dipped 4.55% to end the day at $10.70.

In macro news, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported that U.S. mortgage applications fell 4% from a week ago on a seasonally adjusted basis for the week ended Dec. 9.

Now featured on S&P Global Market Intelligence

Research Roundup: Wednesday, North American real estate edition: A handful of upgrades and downgrades are featured in this roundup of recent research reports.

The Property Ledger: Simon introduces new Texas mall wing; Kilroy signs up Amazon at Seattle project: The Dec. 14 edition of the North American property news roundup also features Wheeler REIT and Pro REIT's respective acquisitions in Pennsylvania and Canada, among others.

Market prices and index values are current as of the time of publication and are subject to change.