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REITs are gifts that keep on giving Add to ...

Markets have tumbled and investor confidence is shaky, but that hasn't stopped Canadian real estate investment trusts from financing. And why should they stop? Investor demand for them is still incredibly high.

H&R REIT was the latest firm to tap the market. It's $150-million offering of stapled units flew out of the gates and the deal was ultimately upsized to $200-million. It's music to bankers' ears because they are trying to find alternatives that replace the commodity names that financed over the past 6 months.

H&R's deal comes on the heels of Killam Properties' $40-million bought deal and Pure Industrial REIT's $52-millin acquisition financing. And earlier in April Calloway REIT and Artis REIT financed almost $200-million combined.

It's quite clear now that retail investors are turning to yield stocks likes REITs because they are worried about the market's growth prospects.

Proceeds from H&R's deal will go toward new acquisitions. It might seem like there's practically nothing left to scoop up because all the REITS have been out buying, but the numbers prove otherwise. Dundee REIT, for instance, recently reported first-quarter results and the company bought $475-million worth of properties in the first quarter alone.

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