Real estate investment trust firms came under fire following
the Federal Reserve meeting Wednesday after Fed chief Janet
Yellen signaled that interest rates could be heading higher
sooner than expected.
While selling was broad-based in the REIT group earlier in the
week,Camden Property Trust (
) held up pretty well.
The company acquires and develops multifamily apartment
communities. It owns interests in and operates 168 properties in
the U.S., with more than 59,000 apartment homes. Fourteen
properties are under development.
Demand for apartments is still strong four years into the
sector's recovery, although questions remain about how long the
apartment market can sustain momentum as inventories rise.
Of the 937,000 total housing starts in January, 309,000 were
for multifamily units with five or more units, according to the
U.S. Department of Commerce.
When the company reported fourth-quarter results in January,
funds from operations (FFO) rose 11% from a year ago to $1.08 a
share. Sales rose 12% to $210.3 million. Over the past seven
quarters, year-over-year sales growth at Camden Property Trust
has ranged from 12% to 16%.
In the fourth quarter, construction began at two new wholly
owned communities: the Camden in Los Angeles, a $145 million
project with 287 apartment homes, and Camden Victory Park in
Dallas, an $82 million undertaking with 423 apartment homes.
As part of its fourth-quarter earnings release, Camden raised
its quarterly dividend to 66 cents a share. The dividend is
payable on April 17 to shareholders of record March 31. Camden
currently yields 3.9% annually.
Two other apartment REITs are listed in today's REIT Leaders
screen to the left:Home Properties (
) andMid-America Apartment Communities (