Intent upon deleveraging, REITs are going into the public debt markets and buying their own bonds, in some cases getting spectacular bargains. "If the bond market perceives that there is high credit risk and they're willing to sell bonds back to the company at 50% of face value, then the company can use $1 to retire $2 of debt," said a REIT analyst at R.W. Baird & Co., David Loeb.

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