REITbid Brings Liquidity to Illiquid Investments [Press Release]

New Online Auction Platform Gives Non-Traded REIT Shareholders and Investors Simple, Secure and Transparent Way to Buy and Sell Shares

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., Feb. 4, 2013 – REITbid today announced a new online auction platform that matches buyers and sellers of shares in existing non-traded public real estate investment trusts (REITs). This new program is powered by an advanced and proven online auction technology ( that is secure, easy to use, transparent and designed to create liquidity in what are typically considered illiquid assets.

Non-traded REITs have issued nearly $80 billion of equity during the past ten years to more than 2 million shareholders1, a number that is projected to rise over the next few years. As the volume of investors increases, so does the demand for shareholders who need to liquidate their shares. With approximately 2/3 of today’s top closed non-traded REITs unable to meet the liquidity demands of their shareholders2, those seeking liquidity often turn to low-ball mini-tender offers from predatory investment firms. The Securities and Exchange Commission warns “mini-tender offers have been increasingly used to catch investors off guard” when it comes to determining the value of their shares.

The REITbid platform was founded by a team of senior real estate executives led by William Lange and financed by Ray Wirta. Lange has more than 35 years experience in real estate auction marketing and is chairman of the LFC Group of Companies, a pioneer in online auction solutions. Wirta has more than 40 years experience in commercial real estate and is the former chief executive officer and a current director of CB Richard Ellis (NYSE:CBG). The team made the decision to create REITbid based on industry-wide demand for a viable solution for achieving fairly priced liquidity in non-traded REIT shares.

“Shares of existing non-traded REITs may provide attractive investment opportunities that focus on current dividend yield and appreciation potential,” said William Lange, REITbid principal. “However, a drawback to investing in non-traded REITs has been a lack of liquidity. REITbid not only helps to resolve this issue with an easy-to-use online auction process, it helps existing shareholders achieve fair market pricing based on the anticipated high volume of buyers and sellers who will participate in the auctions.”

REITbid Advantages

In addition to offering a liquidity option and streamlining the entire process of buying, selling and transferring shares, REITbid provides several other unique advantages including:

  • User-friendly platform that is easy enough for virtually any qualified investor to use
  • Transparency – provides instant access to non-traded REIT metrics and links to SEC filings and sponsor data; users can also view all pending bid activity on each auction
  • Convenience – ability to bid on and find documentation about available non-traded REITs 24 hours per day
  • Security – strict multi-layer protection of all documents and personal data

“REITbid is engineered to become the industry’s most advanced and comprehensive solution for trading shares of existing non-traded public REITs,” adds Lange. “It provides transparency for buyers and sellers, giving them an efficient method for valuing shares based on a REIT’s net asset value (NAV) and other key metrics.”

About REITbid

REITbid is owned by Share Trading Associates, LLC of Newport Beach, Calif. Share Trading Associates is comprised of a team of real estate and auction professionals with extensive real estate investment experience. REITbid auctions are operated under a license agreement by JRL Capital Corporation, a FINRA-registered Broker-Dealer since 1981. For more information, visit

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1 Blue Vault Partners, NAREIT

2SEC filings data as of June 30, 2012. Based on closed non-traded REITs ranked by total assets.

Traditional Patterns of Homeownership Changing?

A new survey from Fannie Mae reveals that the traditional patterns of homeownership are shifting around the country. Housing Wire’s Christine Ricciardi wrote up the most interesting findings from the survey:

Although 51% of survey respondents said the housing crisis has not affected their overall willingness to buy a home, 33% said they would be more likely to rent their next home than buy. In January, 30% of Americans surveyed said they would rent a home the next time around.

Overall, 89% of homeowners, as well as 49% of renters, feel they would be better off owning a home in the current economy. However, Fannie Mae found that the homeownership rate among young adults (ages 25 to 29) decreased 11% “since peak rates” before the housing crisis.

Married couples are the most likely to own a home. However, Fannie Mae said that portion of the population is increasingly shrinking — down to 50% of households in 2009 from 56% in 1990.

The survey found that 58% of single-mothers rent. Seventy-eight percent of survey respondents cited children as a major reason to own a home.

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“Shadow Inventory” of Homes Keeps Rising

There was a Wall Street Journal report this week on the rising “shadow inventory” of homes. The shadowinventory refers to unlisted bank-owned properties and those that are in the foreclosure process. These are primarily homes that banks have repossessed after foreclosure, but have yet to put up for sale for fear of flooding the market and further depreciating home values.

According to a report from CoreLogic, a real-estate research firm, the shadow inventory of unlisted REO homes and looming foreclosures increased to 2.1 million homes in August, up 10% from last year. When combined with the 4.2 million unsold homes that are listed for sale, that means there is more than 23 months of supply at the current sales pace.

Fannie, Freddie conforming loan limits to be extended

This is good news from Reuters for those of you looking to take out a large home loan in the next year or so:

The Federal Housing Finance Agency said the maximum for the conforming loans — generally $417,000 for a single-family home but up to $729,750 in certain high cost areas — will remain unchanged in the first nine months of next year compared with 2010 levels.

The conforming, 30-year fixed loans must meet certain underwriting standards for loan-to-value and borrower credit scores and are put into Fannie’s and Freddie’s pools of guaranteed mortgage-backed securities.

The extension was dictated by a recently enacted Congressional resolution. The limits for high cost areas, generally on the east and west coasts, had been increased in a housing recovery bill passed in July 2008.

Click here to read the full article.