All the recent equity and debt offerings by publicly traded REITs have led to an interesting debate on the future of the U.S. REIT sector. Back in the spring, when REIT shares were trading near an all-time low, some industry insiders expected that the current downturn would significantly shrink the REIT industry, as many companies would no longer see much sense in remaining in the public sector.
Now, Forbes has published an interview with Simon Property Group CEO David Simon in which Simon predicts the opposite will actually be the case. Pressed for cash, many private companies will enter the REIT sector. However, Simon expects this will not be entirely new REIT players, but rather those firms that were previouly in the public market, but went private in the mid 2000s.