Office Stocks Post Biggest Rally Since Coronavirus Vaccine Announcement
Office shares saw the biggest one-day rally in three years last week, thanks to better-than-expected news on inflation.
REIT shares jumped an average of 11.5% on Nov. 14, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing Green Street data. That marks the biggest single-day jump since November 2020, when real estate stocks leaped off the back of news of a nearing emergency approval for a coronavirus vaccine.
The rally does nothing for the long-term outlook for these companies, which are facing elevated debt costs and reduced demand for office space, and prices have slid back since the rally.
“There’s a long road to recovery,” Alec Overby, senior analyst with Cohen & Steers, an investment manager and REIT investor, told the WSJ.
REIT shares are still down 65% since the beginning of the pandemic, according to Green Street. While many of the properties in REIT portfolios are newer buildings that tenants still favor, the diminished role of the office in society has clouded the long-term future of the asset class.
Office vacancy nationwide hit a record 19.4% in the third quarter, and tenants gave back almost 21M SF more space than they took up during the period, according to Cushman & Wakefield. Office properties continue to be the biggest source of new loan delinquencies, per Fitch Ratings commentary.
“There’s just a lot of uncertainty among pretty much all asset classes,” BMO Capital Markets Senior Analyst John Kim said on the Bisnow Reports podcast this month. “If you look at the forward curve, it’s not really coming down as steeply as it did a couple of months ago. And so, in that environment where interest rates are higher for longer, we don’t know what the values of some of these companies are.”