The Fly

Essex Property downgraded to Neutral at BofA in residential REIT repositioning

As previously reported, BofA analyst Joshua Dennerlein downgraded Essex Property Trust (ESS) to Neutral from Buy with a price target of $233, down from $265. He is repositioning within the residential REITs space and said his downgrade reflects concerns that the Northern California and Seattle markets will weaken in coming months. In addition to Essex, two other residential REITS – AvalonBay (AVB) and Equity Residential (EQR) – flagged price sensitivity in their NoCal and Seattle portfolios as he expects this trend to grow worse given both markets’ heavy concentration of tech jobs, Dennerlein said.

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