Despite talk of bubbles, flipping and soaring
housing prices, investors have largely held their ground when it comes
to keeping their money in real estate investments the past few years.
But one prominent advisory firm feels the time has finally run out on the great real estate bonanza.
RegentAtlantic Capital, a wealth management firm in Chatham, N.J., with more than $1 billion under management, says it has decided to reduce its typical client real estate allocation by half.
The firm typically allocates 20% of its client portfolios to alternative investments, of which 8% has represented REITs. That allocation will be reduced to 4%, with the assets transferred to an 8% allocation in commodities, according to the firm.
The reason: The firm feels values have risen too high in the commercial income-producing property sector, which includes office buildings, apartments, shopping malls, warehouses and hotels.
"At the beginning of the year, our concern was over the 15% premium that REIT shares were selling at relative to their net asset value," says Christopher J. Cordaro, the firm's chief investment officer. "The premium in the U.S. REIT market has come down to 5%, but now the underlying property values have increased by approximately 25% year to date."
He notes that while commodities have had a similar run-up in prices for
the first nine months of the year, the commodity market still has a
ways to go to offset more than two decades of modest price growth.
"The rising demands for fuels and raw materials from China, India, and other developing countries won't be satisfied any time soon," Cordaro says.