Stock prices for publicly traded REITs are about 25% lower due to the pandemic, a sign of what investors might expect from the record $5 trillion pile of U.S. commercial real-estate debt, according to S&P Global.
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The coronavirus pandemic will affect real estate investment trust (REIT) stocks and the real estate market for months or years to come, with commercial and multi-dwelling landlords defaulting on bank loans when their tenants no longer have income to pay their rents. Many homeowners will also feel the pain, missing mortgage payments and potentially losing their homes when employers permanently shed workers as a result of the economic downturn. Healthy dividends are unlikely to slow damage to REITs, especially for companies that own and lease retail properties.