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May 21, 2020

Real estate firms are raising billions in debt and equity. Here’s why.


By E.B. Solomont Research by Jerome Dineen

As the economy starts to re-open, real estate players are hungry for cash.

On Tuesday, CoStar said it would sell $1.25 billion worth of stock, becoming the latest in a half-dozen companies seeking to shore up their balance sheets with new debt and equity.

In the past week, commercial brokerage Cushman & Wakefield said it's selling $400 million in senior notes. Colliers International, Zillow and Vector Group — the parent company of Douglas Elliman — are also in the market for new capital.

“As long as the capital markets are still open and money is flowing on the debt and equity sides, companies want to position themselves in such a way that they can get through whatever might occur,” said Yousuf Hafuda, a Morningstar analyst who covers real estate stocks. He said the Fed's fiscal stimulus has stabilized the market in general, but there is still a wide range of potential outcomes. Read more.

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