REIT Stocks Building a Base

by: Bob Kempen

I have always observed that when a stock group refuses to go lower in a weak market, it is usually a good time to accumulate. Especially when the stocks are downgraded by everyone to the point that most are selling below their net asset value with little change in the fundamentals of the projected FFO.

Occupancy rates are strong to steady and most have low fixed rate mortages in place since early '07.

With the stocks down 40-50%, and the dividend yields anywhere from 7-12 %, it is hard to believe there is much downside, if any. At any rate, except for residential REITS, these are long term leases, with predictable cash flows, with early termination fees. The apartment REITS are benefitting from tenants inability to buy a home, and even in a slowing economy, most apartments are cheap housing, as evidenced by strong occupancy rates.

A tight credit environment also means less new supply. This reminds me of the late 90s when all REITS were out of favor, and then preceded to beat the market 7 years straight. In any case, you get paid handsomly while you wait.

Disclosure: Author has a long position in some of the above-mentioned securities.