Here is a website listing all the REOs for Countrywide Financial in North Carolina.? REOs are the post-foreclosure properties where the owner has defaulted and the bank has collected the property as collateral on the unpaid loan.

CFC’s REOs in North Carolina

The official list is also available from Countrywide’s website.

Here’s a quick, bearish article on REITs from Bloomberg

Shares of U.S. REITs are the most expensive in more than two decades compared with Treasury notes after the five-year property boom. Real estate stocks have led the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index higher this year on speculation takeovers will increase after Blackstone agreed to buy Sam Zell’s Equity Office Properties Trust for $39 billion in the biggest-ever leveraged buyout.

“Sam Zell is probably the shrewdest operator in this field that there is,” said David Dreman, who oversees $21 billion at Dreman Value Management LLC in Jersey City, New Jersey. “If he’s selling, I don’t think I want to be a buyer.”

Remember when I suggested IGR for international REITs? I don’t think I emphasized the volatility enough… it was down over 5% yesterday, 11% in the last few days. It’s not a smooth ride… though the discount on the fund has gone up to almost 5% again.

Is it time to sell REITs? Hard to say… but so far we’ve only had 3 down days since a 52-week high (in the DJR). While losing 4% in 3 days is rough, it’s not that significant. We’ll have to wait and see how the sector continues to perform over the next few weeks…

I have mentioned the closed-end fund IGR before, and now is a good time to bring them up again… IGR is the “ING/Clarion Global Real Estate Income Fund”. While the full name is a mouth-full, it is quite a good fund, and a good fund to know about.

If you like REITs but think that the US based REITs are a bit overpriced or at least late in a bull cycle, you might want to consider diversifying some or all of your holdings into an internationally based fund like this. (more…)

From today’s Dealbook email:

REIT mergers and acquisitions have reached record levels this year. Some 22 transactions totaling $102.8 billion, including debt, have been announced according to the research company SNL Financial, compared with 11 deals valued at $28.8 billion for all of last year and a total of $92 billion in transactions for the last six years combined.

  • Go to Article from The New York Times
  • Also noteworthy, Dealbook has an entire section on the happenings in Real Estate M&A for those of you following the REIT story closely…

    It seems like the vogue thing today to buy any steady-stream of cash producing asset like real estate (even skyscrapers), leverage to the hilt, package and sell the asset and debt, and in the process reap the rewards. The impact to publicly traded REITs is obvious from a liquidity analysis standpoint (a la TrimTabs) — everything keeps going up!

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