Ugh. After the purchase of EOP, I felt that equity REITs had reached valuation levels that not only discounted the lifetime of my children, but eternity as well. With the purchases of Archstone Smith and the Pennsylvania REIT, we are at valuation levels near those at the EOP purchase. My metric is equity REIT dividend yields versus the 10-year treasury yield. When one has to give up 1.2% in yield to move from safe Treasuries to risky REIT equity, there is something amiss. The valuation levels embed significant assumptions for growth in rents, which is particularly dangerous when the bull cycle in commercial real estate is so extended.
As a side note, before the purchases were announced, REITs looked the worst from a technical standpoint in the financial space. Now they are the best. So much for the utility of technical analysis.