Sunday 23 October 2016

Starwood Capital boss favours property over stocks

Heather Perlberg

Published 15/10/2015 | 02:30

Starwood Capital Group chairman Barry Sternlicht
Starwood Capital Group chairman Barry Sternlicht

Barry Sternlicht, chairman of Starwood Capital Group, said sharp movements in stocks and a lack of liquidity makes real estate the best major market to invest in right now.

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Starwood Capital, Sternlicht's $44bn (€35bn) real estate investment firm, is opting for safety by adding to its book of 40,000 apartments and 52 million square-feet of office space, he said.

"It's a very difficult market," Sternlicht said. "Real estate is far less volatile. We move in waves. The stock market moves on a dime and you don't know why often."

Sternlicht founded Starwood in 1991. He started the company now known as Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide in 1995, running it until 2004. Starwood Hotels is no longer affiliated with Starwood Capital. His firm still owns hundreds of hotels and backs a large single-family rental company which last month announced a merger with US landlord Colony American Homes.

While real estate in the US is a relatively safe bet, he said he hasn't put money into China for years.

"China is a company masquerading as a country," he said. "They have the rules and they're not showing them to you." (Bloomberg)

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