Is the jig up? “The Grave Dancer,” the week before Halloween, scares the socks off of us agreeing to the largest transaction since the recession. Yes, Sam Zell, who is credited for calling the top of the real estate market in 2007, when he sold Equity Office Properties to Blackstone for $23 billion + 16 billion debt, is at it again – this time with his Equity Residential portfolio. According to the WSJ, Zell agreed to sell 23,000 apartments to Starwood Capital for 5.4 billion dollars. But this time, Sam credits the 20% climb of average U.S. rents over the last five years, combined with the glut of new apartment construction coming on in the suburbs for his decision. So Sam is dancing on downtown, where young people are moving, and it is more difficult to build.
October 28, 2015