Behringer Harvard REIT I, Inland America Real Estate Trust, Inland Western Retail Real Estate Trust, Wells Real Estate Investment Trust II and Piedmont Office Realty Trust are non-traded real estate investment trusts, or REITs – an industry that has garnered new interest from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
As reported May 28 by Investment News, FINRA is paying close attention to non-traded REITs and, in particular, the ways in which broker/dealers marketed and sold the products to investors.
Non-traded REITs are considered illiquid investments because they do not trade on a stock exchange. The majority of non-traded REITs have a specific time frame that outlines when investors can redeem their REIT shares. Non-traded REITs also come with high commissions and fees, a fact that may lead some broker/dealers to misrepresent the products for personal profit.
The market for non-traded REITs experienced an especially tumultuous year in 2009. Many of the largest non-traded REITs either slashed dividends to investors, shut down redemption programs or both.
In March 2009, for instance, the Behringer Harvard REIT I suspended shareholder redemption requests. A short time later, it announced plans to slash annualized dividends from 6.5% to 3.25%, based on an original share purchase price of $10. The Behringer Harvard Opportunity REIT I also halted its shareholder redemptions.
Maddox Hargett & Caruso is investigating sales of non-traded REITs on behalf of investors. If you believe your broker/dealer or financial adviser misrepresented the facts concerning non-traded REITs, please Contact Us.