A crash in property values may have wiped out $1 trillion of commercial real estate equity and opened up a gaping need for capital, but opportunities for new investors are scarce as the downturn plays out in slow motion, according to KBW Inc.'s Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Inc.

Four real estate investment trusts hoping to take advantage of turmoil in commercial real estate have done initial public offerings this year. In a report last week, KBW analysts initiated coverage on two of them — CreXus Investment Corp. and Colony Financial Inc. — with "market perform" ratings.

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