Charles Dillingham- Morguard Financial Corp.

Veteran manager says REIT sector in great shape.

Michael Ryval 14 December, 2012 | 7:00PM

A long-time veteran of the real-estate industry, Charles Dillingham believes that real estate investment trusts have never been in better shape. "They've found themselves," says Dillingham, manager of the $61-million CIBC Canadian Real Estate and vice-president of Toronto-based Morguard Financial Corp.

To draw an analogy, Dillingham recalls that the famed golfer Tiger Woods changed his swing several times to adjust to age-related changes in his own body. "That's what REITs had to go through," Dillingham observed several years ago at an industry panel organized by the National Association of REITs in Toronto. "You had guys just buying things, but they didn't go the next step. They weren't focused or disciplined about their acquisitions."

By contrast, today's REITs and other real-estate businesses are making better use of capital, selling off weaker assets and concentrating on those that earn their keep. "There's been an evolution and they've developed different styles. Some have gone for value all the way," Dillingham says.

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Michael Ryval

Michael Ryval