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U.S. REITs Notch Short Interest Gains in February 1st Half

U.S. REITs recorded a 3-basis-point short interest gain on average during the first half of February, ending the period at 3.39% of all outstanding shares.

Five sectors logged double-digit growth during the period from Jan. 29 to Feb. 12, with the office sector leading the way, rising 29 basis points to 3.19% of shares shorted. Following closely were the health care and manufactured-home sectors, each with a 27-basis-point gain to 3.34% and 2.78% of shares shorted, respectively. Industrial and shopping center REITs logged 16- and 13-basis point increases, resulting in respective short bets of 3.69% and 3.05%.

Single-tenant REITs saw the biggest drop in short interest, with shorts plummeting 50 basis points to finish with 4.35% of outstanding shares held short during the period.

On a company basis, Government Properties Income Trust recorded the biggest increase in short interest during the month's first half, with shorts soaring 643 basis points to 14.85% of outstanding shares. The company also topped the list of most-shorted REITs during the period.

Hersha Hospitality Trust experienced the biggest short-interest decline during the period, with a 376-basis-point drop in short bets to 11.59% of outstanding shares.

Change in Short Interest by REIT Sector