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WASHINGTON, DC-The stock market is trying to recover from the terrorist attacks last week on New York and the Pentagon here. In the aftermath of the devastation, several real estate players have moved back into the market to either buy back or sell securities.

The Securities and Exchange Commission suspended rules this week for issuer stock repurchases. At least one area real estate company plans to take advantage of the measure, and perhaps stabilize its stock. Mills Corp. of Arlington, VA, said it will buy back some of its stock. Mills Corp. develops large-scale outlet retail and entertainment centers. It has 12 properties in the US, including Arundel Mills in the Baltimore area and Potomac Mills outside of Washington. Shares of Mills were recently trading around $21 a share.

Another local company — Corporate Office Properties Trust — actually sold shares into the market. On Friday Sept. 14, before the market re-opened, COPT sold 185,000 redeemable, preferred shares. The net proceeds to the real estate investment trust were $4.5 million. This over allotment selling followed the offering of 1.24 million preferred shares, which were priced at $25 each. The company’s common stock is trading around $12.75 currently.

Even Fannie Mae, a major player in the mortgage banking industry, reiterated Tuesday that it continues to be active in issuing its Benchmark Securities. Fannie Mae canceled the benchmark bills auction last week do to the terrorist attacks, which destroyed the World Trade Center and damaged the Pentagon. But such auctions will resume this week with scheduled 3-month and 6-month maturities. On Wednesday, Fannie Mae will auction $7 billion of 3-month benchmark bills and $2 billion of the 6-month benchmark bills.

It’s not clear what Wall Street’s outlook is about real estate companies. Recently, some players were positive on real estate companies, particularly those REITS that focused on multifamily. With the Federal Reserve continuing to lower interest rates, it was perceived that multifamily was a good bet. Even in a downturn, multifamily would win because consumers would be inclined to continue renting housing rather than getting a mortgage to acquire a home.

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