Goldman Sachs: REIT Valuation Back To "Bubble Levels"

"While the worst of the current US recession appears to have passed, we caution that CRE trends are just starting to soften and will remain weak into 2011; as such, REITs should underperform the broader equity markets during the next stage of the recovery (6-9 months). In fact, we anticipate a decline in FFO of more than 10% for REITs next year, on top of the 15-20% expected decline in 2009. Hence, 2011 should be the bottom with growth resuming thereafter. Over the next 12-24 months, we see the combination of rising CRE loan defaults, deteriorating fundamentals (similar to the 2001 downturn), and more stringent lending standards (50% LTV loans at higher rates) resulting in a “challenging road ahead” for REITs." - Goldman Sachs

Wall Street's Continuing Syndication Of Its Own "Secured" Debt Via Equity Markets

In April Zero Hedge discussed the potential conflict of interest of secured lenders providing equity financing to companies in which they are the primary secured lender, with a "debt repayment" use of proceeds, in essence using the raised equity to pay down the debt on which the underwriters themselves are on the hook for. Not surprisingly, this was all occurring in the context of REITs - the same companies that face a massive credit crunch as numerous CRE loans come due for refinancing in the 2011-2014 timeframe. It seems this game of "bait and switch" continues unabated.

V-Shaped Revenue Recovery Combined With L-Shaped CapEx Growth

And thus the original question is how quickly can the accumulated corporate cash buffer be converted into revenue growth? It seems companies don't really care to answer that: the growth will come from "elsewhere" they will be happy to announce, and refer you to the GDP - where all "growth" comes from transfer payments, and other fictitious items indicating "growth" yet all those merely do is sucker more and more people into the stock market at bubble valuations (why are not more companies doing follow on offerings, absent REITs of course? Is it because institutional stock managers know that valuations, which this is all really about, are simply insane?). Absent some investment in CapEx you can kiss your V-shaped revenue (and thus earnings) recovery goodbye. But who honestly cares about how a stable economy works any more when you have trillions in excess liquidity provided by Bernanke Capital LLC?

SL Green's Mysterious Cap Rate Calculations, And Budding Israeli VoIP Operators-cum-Midtown Real Estate Investors

Today, SL Green announced a preliminary sale transaction (subject to assumable financing, an out wider than VaR exclusion loopholes) which is supposed to herald the coming of the new mid-town CRE renaissance. An ebullient SL Green CEO Marc Holliday had this to say: "This is a first, but significant step towards the sale of interests in 485 Lexington Avenue. If ultimately approved, the transaction would demonstrate that the Midtown Manhattan office market continues to stand as one of the world's top locations and that investor interest is once again on the rise." Zero Hedge is waiting with baited breath for the Holliday mirage to dissipate, while in the meantime Class A office space in 767 Fifth Avenue can be sublet for $60/sq foot.

Goldman Sachs On The State Of The Market

From Goldman Sachs:

  • Residential housing market continues to weaken
  • Commercial real estate beginning to take center stage
  • CRE equity may have further to fall or be completely wiped out
  • Equity valuations driven by the consumer, with the cryptic proviso that "equity value might have downside" - no kidding
  • And the best - REIT equity prices have risen... but property values continue to fall

"Bankrupt" Jefferson County Did Not Buy REITs Today, Summons National Guard To Maintain Order

Oddly enough, Jefferson county which got into a dash of trouble buying some interest rate swap or another without reading the prospectus which despite guaranteeing perpetual appreciation distinctly said in the invisible print that total loss of principal is another side effect of transacting with Wall Street, has apparently been unable to participate in today's 175/75 L/S unwind which blew the REITs into the stratosphere and got Bob Pisani's panties in a bunch.

S&P Commits Professional Suicide With Ratings Round Trip, Underlying CRE Remains Toxic Garbage

Rare? Medium Rare? Medium? Well Done? S&P? Indeed, as the last peg in the gradation of burnt to a crisp, S&P smells completely done. As in there isn't even left a shadow of a doubt that all S&P does is pander to the solicitations of whatever few remaining clients it may have, or, as the case may be, the U.S. government. Any credibility S&P, which one would be excused for confusing with Sycophantic & Pathetic, may have tried to salvage over the past 6 months has been gutted and left to dry after this most recent fiasco, which is the final straw on theMcGraw-Hill subsidiary's expedited route to the NRSRO utterly discredited trash heap.

David Faber On Goldman CRE Write Downs And REIT Pain

David Faber discusses Goldman's real estate losses, and draws some conclusions about the upcoming pain for REITs. And yet, thanks to Goldman, which has been instrumental in upgrading and issuing stock for the REITs (and having a massive blow out quarter thanks in large part to its REIT underwriting activity), the sector is doing unprecedentedly well. Surely one has to wonder just what must happen at this point for people to realize what a ticking time bomb Commercial REITs are?

A Random Walk Down What Is Most Definitely Not Wall Street

When I did the first of my Random Walk series, I focused exclusively on the empty storefronts in Manhattan's Madison Avenue Gold Coast area. It was enlightening to many to see just how deep into the heart of the monster the CRE collapse had cut. However, unless you look at the commercial real estate apocalypse unraveling in Central and Eastern Europe you ain't seen nothing yet.

REIT Liquidity Update: Hold The Applause

If anyone had told us a year ago that Fitch would at least attempt to be a voice of reason, while Merrill Lynch, which has gotten destroyed on real estate, would be a CRE permabull, we would have punched them in the face. Alas, this seems to have become the case. While readers are all to aware of Zero Hedge's coverage of the Merrill REIT team's follies in "analysis land", a Fitch piece from last week has some surprinsgly insightful commentary on REIT. In a report titled "U.S. Equity REIT Liquidity Update: Hold the Applause" the rating agency paints a much more detailed and credible picture than i) expected and ii) than the 20 brand new analysts at ML/BofA could come up with.

Cohen & Steers Funds Merge

Two odd press releases after the close today, both pertaining to our favorite REIT focused fund. According to the first, Cohen & Steers Advantage Income Realty Fund, Inc. ("RLF"), Cohen & Steers Worldwide Realty Income Fund, Inc. ("RWF"), Cohen and Steers Premium Income Realty Fund, Inc. ("RPF") and Cohen & Steers Quality Income Realty Fund, Inc. ("RQI") have all merged with and into RQI. It apeears that even despite the magical ramp of all REITs this quarter, those pesky "size matters" issues have reared their ugly heads for the 4 various closed-end funds.

Merrill's New REIT Teams Marks REIT Territory

The brand spanking new team (and legacy boy Craig Schmidt) that Merrill recently acquired from some other bank (I wrote about this, but frankly don't remember where these clowns came from nor do I care), just went to town all over the REIT bathroom and marked their territory effusively. ML in fact distributed a 45 page reinitiation report, which I have no intention of ever reading.

Goldman Keeps On Cheering CBL... For Now

Everyone's favorite Goldman REIT analyst is still not downgrading CBL to a Conviction List Sell. In fact, Habermann is doing all he can to salvage whatever he can. That being said, we give this stock at most 3-4 weeks before it gets whacked if not to a Sell to at least a "Conviction List" Hold.