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U.S. REITs Narrow Gap Between Share Price, NAV In November


Publicly listed U.S. REIT stocks traded at a median 20.2% discount to their net asset values at the end of November, S&P Global Market Intelligence reported in its latest NAV Monitor, an improvement from a 28.4% discount a month earlier. The monitor tracks 129 REITs.

It is preferable for REITs to trade at a premium compared to their NAVs, according to Seeking Alpha, because it creates an opportunity for the REITs to issue more shares. When shares drop below net asset value, REITs can sell assets and repurchase shares to reduce the difference in share price and net asset value.

All REIT sectors are trading at a discount, the S&P reported, except data centers, which are trading at a median 14.9% premium over their net asset values. The report tracks two data center REITs, Digital Realty Trust and Equinix.

Office REITs, representing 18 companies, are trading at a median 37.1% discount to net asset value, the deepest discount among all REIT specialties. The 11 REITs with a hotel focus have the second-biggest gap between price and value, trading at a 28.2% discount.

Although healthcare REITs as a sector are trading 4.9% below net asset value, six of the 10 REITs with the largest premiums over NAV were healthcare-focused, according to the S&P Global report. Among those S&P tracks, the REIT trading at the biggest premium was Welltower at 50.5%.

At the other end of the spectrum, Office Properties Income Trust traded at the largest discount, closing November at 80.1% below its net asset value. Of the 10 most discounted REITs, seven were office specialists.

OPI has had a turbulent year, including the cancellation of a proposed merger with Diversified Healthcare Trust, which doesn't specialize in offices. A number of hedge funds with large stakes in DHC led a successful opposition proxy campaign against the deal, arguing that it would saddle DHC with weak office assets.

Outside of office REITs, the one trading at the biggest discount to its NAV was Industrial Logistics Properties Trust at 71.2%.