NEW YORK CITY-For many real estate investment trusts, the outlook for new development and construction has been dim—and the pool of new projects is continuing to dry up. According to new research from Fitch Ratings, the publicly-traded REIT development pipeline is currently 55% smaller than its peak level in 2007, a sign that more companies are seeking to acquire existing properties as opposed to building them ground-up.

“By and large, companies have not ramped up development pipelines,” Steven Marks, managing director at Fitch Ratings, tells “It is really growth via acquisitions and organic cash flows from existing portfolios.”

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