Zell Says He Sees Fewer Opportunities in Real Estate

Billionaire investor Sam Zell, chairman of Equity Group Investments, said he sees fewer opportunities in real estate investments and that stocks are overvalued.

“You would think with demand weakening, the stock market would reflect that,” Zell, 71, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television’s Erik Schatzker at the SkyBridge Alternatives Conference yesterday in Las Vegas. “I think about the headwinds in the world today, and I look at S&P, and I do not know how you can be wildly optimistic.”

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index surged 14 percent this year through yesterday amid optimism central banks will continue to use stimulus to support economic growth. Orders placed with factories fell more than forecast in March as a cooling economy slowed demand for metals, mining equipment and military goods, according to Commerce Department data reported on May 3.

Zell, chairman of Equity Residential (EQR), the largest publicly traded U.S. apartment landlord, said he continues to believe multifamily buildings are a good investment and sees fewer opportunities in other parts of the property market. He said real estate now represents about 30 percent of his holdings, a record low.

“The multifamily market is terrific,” he said. “I think the multifamily market will continue to prosper regardless of what happens to the single-family market.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Katherine Burton in New York at kburton@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kara Wetzel at kwetzel@bloomberg.net

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