Ahead of Their Time: European REITs Are Still Looking for a Seat at the Table
REITs, real estate investment trusts, have become the investment of choice for many investors in the United States, Australia and Asia. Europeans, however, have been less enthusiastic about the structure. Those who eagerly awaited the passing of REIT legislation in the United Kingdom, Germany and Italy in 2007 were sorely disappointed by the lacklustre IPO and investment activity that followed — even before the recession hit. As we come out of the worldwide downturn, the question remains: Were the optimistic predictions for REITs and their impact on the European real estate market overblown, or were they simply waylaid by market forces beyond their control?
Recent numbers from EPRA, the European Public Real Estate Association, show REITs in Europe underperforming their private real estate counterparts. Over the long term, however, REITs have consistently out