Commercial Real Estate Direct Staff Report
Publicly traded REITs raised a total of $28.3 billion this year by selling unsecured debt and common equity.
The total includes 30 unsecured notes issues totaling $11.4 billion and 59 stock offerings totaling $17.2 billion.
That compares with last year, when REITs raised only $16 billion of unsecured debt and common equity.
Most REITs used the capital they raised to address upcoming maturities.
At the end of last year, for instance, the 50 largest REITs by total market capitalization faced a whopping $20.4 billion of debt maturities in 2009. As of the end of September, those REITs had whittled that down to a more manageable $2 billion. The latter doesn't include the $3.6 billion of maturities that General Growth Properties faced this year. The company, as part of a restructuring plan, has reached agreements to extend some $10.3 billion of its debt.
And despite the fact that the stock offerings averaged 23.41 percent dilution to existing shareholders, investors swallowed them up. Most of the issuers' shares have traded at higher prices than before their stock offerings, as evidenced by the 13.5 percent increase in a widely followed REIT price index.
Some companies have used the market's hospitality to build up war chests.
Simon Property Group was first to test the unsecured debt market last March when it priced a $650 million issue to yield 10.75 percent. Since then, the market has thawed substantially. Simon tapped the market again in August, pricing a $500 million issue at a yield of 5.46 percent. The company has also raised $1.7 billion of equity through the sale of common shares.
The company has amassed a nearly $7 billion war chest of cash and...
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