Thursday, May 29, 2014

Spain Rising

I have watched for a Spanish economic recovery for no other morbid reason than Spain was hit so hard by the late 2000's credit crisis and recession.  I believe that a Spanish rebound signifies good news for all of Europe.  Spanish unemployment is currently 26% and is not expected to dip below 20% until 2017 according to S&P, which is not encouraging (unless you view the hiring that would cause the unemployment rate to drop six percentage points as positive).  But Spain's economy is improving and it expanded twice as fast as the Euro region in the first quarter (Bloomberg).  Here is a Bloomberg article on the beginning recovery of Spanish residential real estate.  The Spanish economy is still bleak, but appears to be moving in the right direction.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Mind the Debt

I received a comment on an old post over the weekend referencing this Financial Times article (subscription required), which states that Dividend Capital's Industrial Income Trust is looking to sell itself for $4 billion.  The comment said I should not have questioned Industrial Income's 2012 revaluation, which at the time - in the midst of the REIT's offering - valued the REIT at $10.40 per share.  The person who posted the comment calculated that Industrial Income Trust, at $4 billion, was worth $18.50 per share.

I read the Financial Times article and Industrial Income's most recent 10-Q, and unfortunately came up with a value well short of $18.50 per share.  You must remember that while Industrial Income may sell for $4 billion, it has just about $1.9 billion of debt, so the net equity is closer to $2.1 billion.  Here is my math:

Value  $4,000,000,000
Debt  $1,914,691,000
Net Equity  $2,085,309,000
Shares Outstanding  $208,135,000
Equity Value Per share  $10.02

Industrial Income raised $2.1 billion in its offering and through its distribution reinvestment - about what a $4 billion sale would recover after accounting for the REIT's debt. 

Industrial Income's first quarter net operating income was $58,292,000.  If you annualize this figure (multiply it by four) and divide by the $4 billion price tab, you arrive at a cap rate of 5.8%.  The 5.8% cap rate seems rich, but maybe the market is pricing in the REIT's 67% lease turnover before the end of 2019, and the potential to sign new leases at higher rates.   I am surprised that at a 5.8% cap rate Industrial Income doesn't have more equity value than $10.02 per share.    The REIT's initial offering costs and over payment of distributions early in its life are real expenses that must eventually be reflected (deducted) in value.

I think it's great Industrial Income is looking sell for $4 billion.  If it can sell its portfolio of industrial properites at a 5.8% cap rate, it should accept this deal without hesitation.

The Financial Times article had a misstatement.  Industrial Income is not a private company.  It is a non-listed public company. 

(Note that my figures are very rough and are shown for general illustrative purposes not to determine an actual valuation.   The actual share price an investor may receive from any Industrial Income sale would likely vary as there are many more considerations than I have listed that would factor into any sale.)

Saturday, May 24, 2014

All Apartments

I have some apartment-related links to post.  First two links are to articles on last week's housing figures, and how multifamily construction is driving residential home construction.  The first is from the New York Times' excellent new The Upshot section.  It states that the improved home construction figures are a result of new apartments being built, not single family homes.  The second is from the FiveThirtyEight blog.  It, too, notes that apartment building makes up a large portion of housing construction growth, but FiveThirtyEight is negative on the implications of this trend to rent for the greater economy.  Both articles are worth reading as smart insights on the housing market.

The Calculated Risk blog provides insight on the apartment market.  It makes this statement:
This favorable demographic (the number 20 - 34 year old people (prime renters) is expected to stay high through 2030) is a key reason I've been positive on the apartment sector for the last several years - and I expect new apartment construction to stay strong for several more years.

New supply will probably increase by 250,000 to 260,000 units this year - and increase further in 2015 since it can take over a year from start to completion for large complexes.  Note: This doesn't include houses converted to rentals - and that is a substantial number in recent years.

This suggests new supply will probably balance demand soon, and that means vacancy rates are probably close to a bottom.
The construction of new apartments, as well as seeing vacancy rates close to the bottom, may mean cap rates are near a low, as multifamily buyers have more options.  This may be one reason Blackstone, which has been a big seller of various real estate asset classes this year, is looking to buy apartments.  Here is a Bloomberg article on Blackstone's new apartment venture, LivCor.  Apparently, Blackstone sees the growing demand and the new supply as opportunities.
New supply will probably increase by 250,000 to 260,000 units this year - and increase further in 2015 since it can take over a year from start to completion for large complexes.  Note: This doesn't include houses converted to rentals - and that is a substantial number in recent years.

This suggests new supply will probably balance demand soon, and that means vacancy rates are probably close to a bottom.
New supply will probably increase by 250,000 to 260,000 units this year - and increase further in 2015 since it can take over a year from start to completion for large complexes.  Note: This doesn't include houses converted to rentals - and that is a substantial number in recent years.

This suggests new supply will probably balance demand soon, and that means vacancy rates are probably close to a bottom.
New supply will probably increase by 250,000 to 260,000 units this year - and increase further in 2015 since it can take over a year from start to completion for large complexes.  Note: This doesn't include houses converted to rentals - and that is a substantial number in recent years.


Thursday, May 22, 2014

UDF IV Listing

United Development Funding IV, a mortgage REIT, plans to list its shares on Nasdaq, under the symbol UDF on June 4, 2014.  In a show of optimism for its list price, UDF is offering to purchase up to $35 million of shares through a tender offer at $20.50 per share.  UDF sold its shares to investors at $20.00 per share. 

ARCP Happenings

Yesterday, May 21, 2014, American Realty Capital Properties (ARCP) announced that it was selling its multi-tenant shopping centers to affiliates of private equity giant Blackstone (BX).  Here is a Bloomberg article.  The all-cash $1.98 billion transaction is expected to close withing thirty days.  ARCP had originally planned to spin-off the shopping centers into a separate company.  ARCP plans to use a large portion of the  $2 billion to complete the acquisition of the 500 Red Lobster properties it agreed to acquire last week for $1.5 billion. 

Separately, ARCP filed yesterday to issue 100,000,000 shares of common stock.  Today, ARCP announced that it sold 120,000,000 shares at $12.00 per share, bolstering its balance sheet by an additional $1,440,000,000 before fees.  ARCP plans to use a portion of the proceeds to repay debt.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Stuyvesant Town - Peter Cooper Village

Here is an update to a story I linked to last week.  It looks like the four-year drama surrounding the massive Stuyvesant Town - Peter Cooper Village apartment complex coming to a fast close.  The article is a tutorial in various forms of complex real estate finance.

Know The Brand

WP Carey's (WPC) CEO, Trevor Bond, made an interesting comment on WPC's May 8th earnings call, which I read in the call's transcript.  In response to a question as to whether WPC is planning a CPA 19 (Corporate Property Associates 19), Mr Bond said this (my emphasis):
Well, it's a great question. We have no -- nothing filed now with the SEC and nothing on the works. I think that we like the optionality going forward of having the ability to delay the CPA:19 as long as we need to. We'll think more about that as we get to the end of the investment period for CPA:18. We have a modest amount of capital still left in CPA:17, and so CPA:17 and CPA:18 are co-investing on some deals. And I think that from management's point of view, the risk of not having a CPA:19 tied up is not a problem because we can always shift deal flow toward W. P. Carey Inc. if we're ever in a period where we are out of the market. And I think that would then further our goals of growing our balance sheet because the transactions that worked for the funds are clearly going to be very accretive for W.P. Carey Inc. And so it's something that has -- as we get closer to the end of the investment period for CPA:18, we'll be faced with that decision. I'll also say that now that we focused -- we are focusing on creating new products silos for our investment management platform, the Hotel fund which has been successful to date is one example. We also have an active self-storage business as you know, which is folded into the CPAs, but we could have a separate fund for them. And then we're always considering other product silos with capable experienced sponsors and other product types. And so I think that it's probably better for us to focus more on that type of new product, really, in the medium term, to enhance the value of our platform. And so that will continue to be one of our areas of focus.
So, WPC is thinking of not immediately offering another REIT in its flagship CPA brand.  WPC may just buy properties directly.   I have no doubt WPC, with its $6.2 billion market capitalization, could acquire accretive properites, and do it cheaper than a CPA REIT.   I'm less optimistic about the larger implications to the non-traded REIT industry of this possible WPC product exit. 

Broker / dealers sell WPC products because of its CPA programs and their history of regular income and long-term performance.  WPC's hotel deal has raised a moderate amount of capital, but CPA 18 raised more equity over the last six months than the hotel deal has raised in nearly four years.  Brand is important, and WPC's brand is Corporate Property Associates - which are sale/leaseback REITs -  not a hotel REIT, not a self-storage REIT, and not whatever new product it develops. 

WPC, through its CPA REITs, offers real competition to the ARC / Cole non-traded REIT machine.   WPC now appears ready to cede market share to ARC at a time when quality REIT options are shrinking.  If it thinks it can create new products, or stop selling or delay the next CPA program and maintain market share, WPC is misjudging its brand and the competitive environment. 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Tender Offers - Part II

I noted last week that American Realty Capital Healthcare Trust's tender offer was five times over subscribed.  American Realty Capital's other April listing, New York REIT (NYRT), announced the results of its listing tender offer earlier this week.  The REIT was able to accept all 12.9 million tendered shares, which was just over half the 23.3 million shares the REIT had offered to purchase. 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


It's been a long while since I linked to articles worth reading.  Here are three articles that I've read the past few days that are worth a quick read.

The first is a New York Times article on the 11,000-plus unit Stuyvesant Town - Peter Cooper Village in Manhattan.  I have blogged about this property before, and it's sale from 2006 is still making news.

The second is from and discusses business development companies (BDCs).  The article is in the form of a Q&A and mainly relates to listed BDCs, but some of the quotes in the article pertain to all BDCs, whether listed or non-traded.

The final article is from the Wall Street Journal and talks about the non-bank banks that are financing real estate.  I only see these firms gaining strength and capital in the coming years.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Ah, A Perk Of Being Listed

Franklin Square Investment Corp (FSIC) the recently listed business development company, filed a $1 billion shelf registration today, which allows the company to raise capital "through the sale of various securities including common stock, preferred stock, warrants, debt securities or subscription rights in one or more future offerings."  FSIC has more financial flexibility now that it's listed, and appears ready to take advantage of it.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Griffin-American Healthcare Bids

Here is a free Wall Street Journal article on the final four bidders for the non-traded REIT Griffin-American Healthcare REIT II.  Bidders include affiliates of other non-traded REIT sponsors, in particular recently listed American Realty Capital Healthcare Trust (HCT) and a division of Northstar (NRF).  The bidding, according to the article, is expected to conclude within two weeks.  The article states:
The investors, mostly retirees and other individuals, paid between $10 and $10.22 a share from 2009 to 2013. Current offers from the four finalists have topped $12.50 a share, according to people briefed on the price, which would put the company's value at $3.66 billion.
At $12.50 per share, the sale would be a success for investors.  (I'm not sure how the article's author knows that most of the investors in Griffin American Healthcare REIT II are retirees.)  I will watch for filings to see how this potential transaction proceeds.

On a separate matter, the article includes good information on non-traded REIT liquidity events and includes this quote:
This year "is going to be something of a litmus test for nontraded REITs, to see if they can exit quickly into the public market," said Scott Crowe, a portfolio manager with Resource Real Estate in New York, a firm that buys real estate and invests in shares of nontraded REITs on the secondary market. "I think [deals] still make sense in places like the health-care space where there's a long history of those companies trading at a premium" to the value of their assets.
The article fails to mention that Resource Real Estate, in addition to investing in non-traded REITs on the secondary market, also offers its own multi-family non-traded REIT.

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Tender Offers

Inland American announced last week that it expanded its original $350 million modified Dutch tender offer and accepted tenders for $394 million shares of its stock at a price of $6.50 per share. The original Dutch tender offer was for between $6.50 and $6.10 per share.  This is the first Dutch tender offer that I have seen related to REITs that has been completed at the highest price.  All others have been at the lowest price in the tender range.  It's amazing how many investors (6.6% of outstanding shares) were willing to bail out of this REIT at a 35% discount.

American Realty Capital Healthcare Trust (HCT) completed its tender last Friday.  HCT skipped the Dutch tender and offered to purchase up to $150 million of shares - or approximately 7.5% of HCTR's outstanding shares - at $11.00 per share.  HCT's tender was five times oversubscribed, so the REIT will purchase the tendered shares on a pro rata basis.

The tender result I am waiting for is Franklin Square Investment Corp's (FSIC) $250 million Dutch tender offer at a price of $10.35 per share to $11.00 per share. 

The Inland American tender offer was not part of a listing liquidity event like HCT and FSIC, but was a mechanism for Inland American to provide some liquidity to investors.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Mind Numbing

Here is complex bankruptcy story, as detailed by Bloomberg.  The Gherkin tower (the building shaped like a football) in London became the highest profile London property bankruptcy since Canary Wharf in 1992.  It looks like the borrower's hedging backfired, causing its liabilities to increase:
Deloitte said in an April 24 statement that the defaults stemmed from the building’s complex, multi-currency capital structure. “Adverse interest rate and currency movements have caused the total senior liabilities secured by the property to increase materially,” the firm said.

Rate swaps allow borrowers to keep payments within a fixed range even if interest rates fluctuate more widely. When rates fall, customers might pay higher costs for the swap to keep payments within the agreed range.
The building, bought for 600 million pounds in 2007, was valued at 473 million to 520 million pounds in 2012.  I can't quite figure the debt, but think it's near 550 million pounds.