Group travel has driven growth at SoTHERLY Hotels, allowing the REIT to be more selective about the quality of its group bookings, said Andrew Sims, chairman and CEO. "Because we have high occupancy rates right now, we can kind of pick and choose which groups we want to take," which is helping push up the average daily rate, he said.
Starwood Property Trust and Starwood Capital Group have finalized their $1.06 billion acquisition of LNR Property LLC. The Starwood companies have acquired LNR Property in order to diversify revenue sources.
Green Street Advisors is planning to launch coverage of the private commercial real estate market.
Company veteran Andrew McCulloch will lead the new group. "Eighty-five percent of U.S. commercial real estate is not owned by public REITs, and we realized there are tremendous opportunities to better serve this segment of the market," McCulloch said.
REIT shares have risen on the companies' ability to raise capital in the public markets, but they also might be benefiting from the quality of properties REITs own relative to the rest of the market, said Brad Case, vice president of research and industry information for NAREIT. He said Green Street Advisors recently published a report saying the higher-quality part of the market has hit bottom and is coming back up. The disparity between REITs and the general commercial-property sector might reflect "market differentiation," Case said.