Monday 22 January 2018

Starwood Capital boss favours property over stocks

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

Heather Perlberg

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.

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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