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Multifamily REITs Unload Properties

Top multifamily REITs like Equity Residential are capitalizing on what David Neithercut refers to as "an extremely opportune time," and cashing in on their properties. Last month Equity announced plans to unload more than 27,728 of its 109,000-plus apartments.

23,000 apartments from 72 properties in Florida, Denver, California's Inland Empire, and in core markets like DC and Seattle, will go to Starwood Capital Group for $5.365B, National Real Estate Investor reports. Equity plans to sell another 4,728 units in 26 properties bit by bit.

Through these sales, Equity plans to exit the South Florida and Denver markets, and the New England submarkets, so it can zero in on core urban markets. (Meanwhile, private equity firms are picking up the slack, pouring billions into multifamily property.)

Rather than buy more apartments with the proceeds, Equity plans to pay down debt and pay a special dividend of $9 and $11 per share to its shareholders.

Equity Residential isn't the only REIT cashing out. AvalonBay Community sold Avalon Lyndhurst in New Jersey for $99M, and Camden Property Trust sold Camden Providence Lakes in Brandon, FL, for $33M. [NREI]