Contact Us

Time to Zell: Real Estate Billionaire Sam Zell Dumping His Real Estate


Real estate tycoon Sam Zell is dumping his real estate hard.

One of his funds, Equity Residential, chucked 20% of its portfolio in October, unloading 23,000 apartments for $5.4B. Equity Commonwealth, another Zell fund, has sold $1.7B and wants that to reach around $3B in a few years.

And not to frighten anyone, but after Sam sold Equity Office (he sure loves “Equity”) to Blackstone for $39B in 2007, things started to get ugly—Great Recession uglyBusiness Insider reports. 

Despite Zell's fire sale, the market's looking healthy. REITs have been booming—up 286% from 2009—and commercial property values are at a record high.

But with the coming higher Fed rates added to the high prices, investors like Sam want safer options.

"The easy money has been made in this cycle," Vornado CEO Steven Roth says. "This is a time when the smart guys are starting to build cash.” [BI]