Apartment REITs Continue Their Selling Spree


Story via NREIOnline

Apartment REITs Continue Their Selling Spree

Bendix Anderson

May 24, 2016
Apartment REITs continue to cash in on their highly-priced properties as they prune their portfolios.
“Since 2011, we have completed the sale of $2.4 billion of assets and expect total dispositions to approach nearly $3 billion by the end of 2016,” says Richard J. Campo, chairman and CEO of Camden Property Trust, a multifamily REIT that owns and operates approximately 158 communities throughout the country.
Top REITs like Camden continue to sell large portfolios of properties and trophy assets in primary markets. The largest three multifamily REITs are buying assets selectively, if they buy at all, mostly in strong secondary markets in prime metropolitan areas, and are selling significantly more than they buy.
Equity Residential: net seller
Take Equity Residential, which was the largest apartment REIT in U.S. with 109,540 apartments, according to the Top 50 Owners list released in April by the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC).
The REIT is likely to have significantly fewer apartments on next year’s list.
Equity Residential sold 23,262 apartments to affiliates of Starwood Capital Group for $5.365 billion in the first quarter. The price is much higher than Equity paid for the properties—the sale generated an economic gain of approximately $2.0 billion and an unlevered internal rate of return of 11.3 percent. 
Equity Residential also cashed in by selling two properties in East Palo Alto, Calif., and New York City, for hundreds of millions of dollars more than it spent to buy them in 2010 and 2011. The REIT used the proceeds to retire $2 billion in debt and improve the company’s “already strong” credit metrics. Equity Residential also bought a handful of properties in places like Seattle, Los Angeles and Brooklyn, N.Y. recently, totaling $204.1 million.
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