Well, there's no doubt that real estate has been hit hard over the last 6-12 months (residential, commercial, mortgage lending, etc.). Industries involved with building and developing infrastructure (roads, bridges, etc) have fared a bit better (See Green Trends post) especially here in Salt Lake...but the thought that keeps running through my head is who will be the first to turn things around? Green REITs? Maybe. Eventually. I would think green properties would be more desirable in the portfolio and have a leg up on traditional properties in terms of coming out of a downturn. Green properties would have lower operating costs, demand relatively higher market values, experience more demand among potential tenants, etc., which would lead me to believe that green REITs or greener REITs (REITs holding greener properties than the next REIT) would experience quicker than expected turnarounds.
As for trends over the last 6 months, green REITs (Simon Property Group, ProLogis, Regency Centers Corp, Thomas Properties Group, AMD Property Corp) have experienced steady declines on their stock price. One thing is interesting though, I pulled the 10-K's (annual reports) for those public REITs listed above...only 1 mentions their efforts in the sustainable game...Simon Property Group. They said:
"Due to the size of our portfolio, we focus on energy efficiency as a core sustainability strategy."
They go into a bit more detail but I am just surprised that more public REITs aren't making sustainability a priority in their annual report to shareholders. I mean sustainability is on the brain. Maybe it is a part of their core strategy but they just don't publish it in the annual report. In my mind, that is a must have.