As companies go under and leave behind vacant office complexes across the country, REIT exchange traded funds (ETFs) feel the emptiness. It’s also certainly dampening any demand for new office space.

New York, for one, is looking at the end of its long-running building boom.

This year is the peak to New York’s new office and residential projects, which will level off by the end of the year, reports Charles V. Bagli for The New York Times. The number of construction jobs will fall by 30,000 by 2010 as a result, while spending on new housing and infrastructure will drop to $26.2 billion by 2010, down from $33.8 billion in this year.

The report noted that construction had already begun on “the majority of the 15 office towers factored into the 2009 and 2010 estimates.” But at least one-third of those projects are already in doubt, given the flagging economy, turmoil on Wall Street and the difficulty in obtaining construction loans.

Also, construction executives believe that JPMorgan Chase will not build a new tower downtown, at Greenwich and Cedar Streets, as it announced last year that it would, now that it has bought Bear Stearns and Bear’s Midtown headquarters.

Shares of several major real estate investment trusts fell on Monday, reversing the upward movement within the financial sector and just as companies may issue earnings warnings, reports Greg Morcroft for MarketWatch. Most earnings reports are expected later this month and into early November.

  • First Trust S&P REIT Index Fund (FRI): down 34.9% year-to-date
  • SPDR DJ Wilshire REIT ETF (RWR): down 36.5% year-to-date

Real Estate Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs)

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.