Real Estate Stocks Get Boost From Renewed Stimulus Talks



Renewed hope for an economic stimulus package lifted markets to their highest level in three months, with real estate stocks largely following the trend.

The market volatility index VIX fell this week by 10 percent, a reflection of fewer trading swings.

Housing construction continued to be a bright spot: Lennar, one the nation’s largest homebuilders, has notched record high stock values each week since August. On Friday, the company reached a record $84.07 per share, nearly double six months ago.

Hospitality firms also saw a boost: Hilton Worldwide closed 2.8 percent above where it began the week, at $91.37. Marriott International gained 2.4 percent to close at $99.34. Diamond Rock Hospitality and Park Hotels & Resorts, which both have assets concentrated in hotels and motels, saw stocks increase 1.9 percent and 4.3 percent, respectively.

Despite renewed stimulus hopes, industries facing economic shifts that could outlast the pandemic struggled this week to mount gains.

Retail giant Simon Property Group’s stock edged down this week, closing at $67.72. In February, its price climbed above $142 before nationwide lockdowns shuttered many of the businesses that had signed leases within its malls.

Office REITs also face an uphill battle as many workers have transitioned to remote work. Microsoft is the latest company to join the work-from-home forever club, alongside Zillow, Facebook, Twitter and others.

Boston Properties, which specializes in office real estate, fell 2.9 percent this week to $82.78, and has lost 40 percent of its stock value since February.

The White House is reportedly preparing a $1.8 trillion aid package aimed at struggling businesses and laid-off workers, a reversal from last week when President Donald Trump quashed the effort. It remains to be seen if the package will make it through Congress, however.

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