By Esther Fung and Chris Kirkham
Real-estate investors on Wednesday took the first crack at identifying winners and losers after the election of property developer Donald Trump as the 45th U.S. president.
Home builders, warehouse and healthcare-facility landlords lagged behind the 1.1% rise of the S&P 500-stock index, while certain office developers and hotel operators edged higher.
Lackluster demand for U.S. government debt on Wednesday raised fears of a prolonged bout of higher interest rates in a Trump administration. Mr. Trump has been critical of the Federal Reserve, saying it has kept short-term interest rates too low for too long.
Mr. Trump also has vowed to ramp up infrastructure spending and cut taxes, which could ignite inflationary pressures and lead to higher rates.
The real-estate sector is particularly sensitive to higher rates because of its reliance on borrowed money. The MSCI U.S. REIT index, a gauge of real-estate investment trusts, was down about 1.6% in afternoon trading.
Big U.S. home builders had mixed results, with PulteGroup Inc. shedding 1.5% and Toll Brothers up 0.5%.
Dustin Bogue, chief executive of San Jose, Calif., home builder UCP, was optimistic a Donald Trump presidency could mean more streamlined regulations for developers that could lead to faster growth in U.S. housing starts.
Mr. Trump's history as a real-estate developer, in particular, has given him intimate knowledge of the challenges builders face in getting projects off the ground, he said.
"It wasn't my selection, to be honest, but this is someone who's going to be growth-focused, someone who's goingto be deal-minded," Mr. Bogue said.
Larry Sorsby, executive vice president and chief financial officer of builder Hovnanian Enterprises, on Wednesday said he believes a Trump presidency will accelerate growth in the housing market.
"If anything, a President Trump will do more things to kind of jump-start the U.S. economy," he said at an industry conference in New York. "Even if that results in slightly higher interest rates, I'll take a growing economy in our industry. We've been at very, very low rates for quite some time, and that hasn't really driven a whole lot of demand."
Healthcare landlords also suffered on Wednesday. The Affordable Care Act had boosted patient volume and the growth of health care assets, but Mr. Trump's intention to repeal and replace the ACA weighed on landlords' shares. Landlord Ventas Inc. was down 4%, while HCP Inc. slid 3% and Welltower Inc. fell 3.4%.
"Successful efforts to repeal or materially replace the ACA would [weigh on] health care providers as it is contributing to higher volumes of insured patients," said Britton Costa, an analyst at Fitch Ratings.
REITs that take their cues from international trade also suffered a blow. Industrial REIT Prologis Inc. shed almost 5% on concerns about heightened trade tariffs impacting demand for warehouse space. Roughly a third of its buildings are overseas, including Mexico City and China. Global Logistic Properties, another logistics REIT listed in Singapore, fell 2.9% during Asian trading hours.
There were a few winners as well. Shares of Vornado Realty Trust, a New York office landlord, rose about 1% Wednesday. Vornado co-owns a building in New York and another in San Francisco with Mr. Trump, who praised Vornado' Chairman and Chief Executive Steven Roth in a speech in New York earlier this year.
Vornado appears to have a direct line to the White House now, said Alexander Goldfarb, managing director at Sandler O'Neill and Partners.
Lodging REITs also rose, in part because they can adapt more easily to higher interest rates. Hotel operators can adjust their prices on a daily basis, while office landlords and others are typically locked into multiyear tenant agreements.
Write to Esther Fung at email@example.com and Chris Kirkham at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
November 09, 2016 17:06 ET (22:06 GMT)
Copyright (c) 2016 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.