- November 1, 2009: Vol. 1, Number 10

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The Road Ahead for the J-REIT Market

by Yuichi Hiromoto and Tom Mills

The J-REIT market, like the U.S. REIT market and others around the world, has struggled during the past two years. J-REITs peaked in May 2007 according to Bloomberg, and while the index level has risen substantially from the recent low reached in February 2009, as of September it remains well below the May 2007 peak (see “U.S. and Japan REIT Indices, March 2003 – August 2009,” page 13). Perhaps one of the greatest challenges J-REITs have faced during this market downturn is debt refinancing, or at least the perceived risk that refinancing efforts could fail eroded investor confidence. The Japanese banking system has so far weathered the global financial storm reasonably well, but nevertheless a few banks have decided they were overexposed to real estate and as a matter of policy are reluctant to renew real estate–related loans that mature. In addition, the commercial paper and corporate bond markets for J-REITs have stopped functioning, meaning J-REITs that diversified their

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