Contributing Editors



Where Will Your Children Work? The Job Forecast for 2030

by Tony Gonzalez May 19, 2010 10:53 AM
People who have made the decision to relocate to another city in search of work, but who have not yet made a decision about where to relocate, may want to consult Mint.com’s list of the 10 cities that are forecast to have the most job growth by the year 2030. Another good list to consult is Mint.com’s list of the top ten cities for annual job growth. The only city to appear on both lists is Las Vegas. [More]

Analysts Continue to Favor Self-Storage REITs Over Others

by Kim Kilpatrick January 11, 2010 7:51 AM
At the end of the year, business journals all over the country began evaluating the performance of REITs in the 2009 markets, and forecasting what is to come in 2010. The Wall Street Journal published an article predicting that 2010 will be a more stable year for real estate markets, and noting that REITs (real estate investment trusts) continued to do well in 2009, showing their strongest performance since 2006. The Seattle Times called REITS "some of the decade's best investments." Forbes, as well, weighed in, noting in mid-December that while REITS were risky, careful investors could still do well. Over the weekend, the New York Times jumped on the bandwagon as well.

Most analysts quoted in the media have recommended self-storage as one of the least risky REIT options available going into 2010. Analysts also recommended REITs focused on apartment buildings, shopping centers, and hotels. Toward the year's end, two California-based REITs took the advice of analysts and added more self-storage facilities to their own portfolios. Late in December, Bancap Self Storage Group brokered the sale of a Hesperia self storage facility, and Strategic Storage Trust, Inc. (SSTI) bought two Pittsburgh self-storage facilities. [More]

Tide Turning in Real Estate Markets; Self-Storage to Outperform the Rest

by Winnie Hsiu December 30, 2009 7:32 AM
The Wall Street Journal this morning predicted a much more stable real estate market for 2010 than the wild ride the market took investors for in 2009.... the WSJ reports that the Dow Jones Equity All REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust) Total Return Index is up 31% this year, which means that it has improved over its 2008 performance, when it was down 38%. In 2009, the real estate market showed its strongest performance since 2006. It even outdid the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index, which posted a 25% return. "It's been very much a roller coaster ride this year," noted Goldfarb. "And we're about to end this year on a high note."
....Lucas told the WSJ that he expected self-storage to be one of three types of REITS that will outperform the rest of the market (the other two are industrial and student-housing REITs). Self-storage can be expected to do well because it does not depend on the creation of new jobs. The recession has been less damaging to the self-storage industry, in general, than it has been for other real estate businesses. According to Inside Self Storage, this is partly because self-storage owners use 30-day leases, and therefore have the flexibility to change their rates immediately in response to changes in the market and to changes in demand. ISS also attributes the stability of self-storage companies to the fact that self-storage business owners, unlike the REITs Kirby refers to, tend not to over-leverage their businesses -- they are more likely to keep their leverage within responsible limits. As a result, they are less vulnerable to sudden shifts in the market.... [More]
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