Thursday, August 20, 2009

Is Net Lease Back?

Last Thursday, Globe Street’s very own Michelle Napoli reported that Realty Income Corp, one of the larger players in the REIT market with a focus on net lease investments, has begun looking at acquisitions. Specifically, CEO Tom Lewis said:

“I know there will be some modest acquisitions in the third quarter, and I’ll define that as a trickle, and we’ll see where it goes from there.” He adds, “We are looking at transactions and buying again.”

This is highly significant information because, as Lewis states himself, “it’s been about 20 months since we put out an LOI on a property.”

The fact that Realty Income’s previously muted presence is coming to an end amongst a series of acquisitions could point to the long elusive light at the end of this recession wrought tunnel. At least, as far as the net lease market goes.

And who is the culprit for this recent spat of good news?

Why it’s those two eternal forces of capitalism, who until recently were not on speaking terms: Buyers and Sellers. The gap between them seems to be closing, especially in terms of seller expectations. Which are becoming, as Lewis notes, “more realistic.” This means that for those who have prudently stored capital, the time may be now to start buying. And in a market as tumultuous as this, net lease investments with their incumbent safety, may be the place to start investing.

Bolstering this perception is a recent upgrade by Friedman & Billings Ramsey Capital of Cap Lease Funding’s target, elevating it to $6.00 from the previous $4.00. This positive development for Cap Lease Funding, which specializes in Net Leases, could very well be indicative of the entire market. Taken together with Realty Income Corp’s new dalliances, we may be seeing the beginnings of a positive trend. So look out world, there may be sunny weather ahead.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Net Lease Solstice

By David Sobelman

When describing the point at which the Sun's apparent position in the sky to reach its northernmost or southernmost extreme, one can only wonder if that is what is happening in the net lease investment community; has there been an extreme change in the industry. We have all seen transaction volume decline, but is that the only variable driving the market? What about capitalization (CAP) rates, lease terms and values of underlying real estate. Has an extreme determination been concluded on the net lease investment market? Are we reaching the "solstice" and will we now see stabilization over time? One thing is for sure, investment parameters have changed, but an extreme polarization of the net lease market has not. CAP rates remain somewhat stable as compared to more volatile investment segments, i.e., vacant properties, land, multi-family, etc. So reaching the net lease solstice has not occurred and may not as the nature of the investment segment does not allow itself the volatility of extreme market changes.