Exit Strategy, Stage REIT
For all the expectation and the fanfare, could the timing of the advent of REITs in Germany and the United Kingdom have been any worse? The market began to feel the heat of a long bull run even before the U.S. subprime crisis put the overinflated value of global real estate into sharp relief. Far from being a shiny new vehicle to make property investment more accessible and more tax-efficient, European REITs have been hit by the global anxiety gripping the commercial real estate sector.
Indeed, what a difference a year makes. When a number of the United Kingdom’s real estate great and good gathered to ring the bell at the London Stock Exchange in February 2007, they had good reason to make some noise. A month earlier, the runners had finally come off the blocks with REITs in the United Kingdom, and the FTSE Group’s first U.K. REIT index, the FTSE EPRA/NAREIT U.K. REITs Index, opened with nine members. Germa