Vornado Realty Trust chairman Steven Roth’s latest annual letter brims with optimism about the dawn of a new, long real-estate cycle. But the biggest money-making opportunity, he suggests, has already passed. Stocks of real-estate investment trusts have more than doubled from their lows just over a year ago. The last two years, Mr. Roth writes, were “a once in a life time opportunity to acquire at panic prices debt and equity securities of publicly-traded real estate companies, including our own.” Finding great deals in actual real estate, on the other hand, has been much harder. Case in point: General Growth Properties, the overleveraged mall giant that filed for bankruptcy last year. Since April 17, the company’s stock, which trades on the pink sheets, is up 2,182%. The firms now bidding for General Growth’s shopping malls could get a good deal—but it won’t be as good as that.  ”All the money was made buying securities in the panic,” Mr. Roth says of General Growth. “Whoever the final acquirer turns out to be, they will be paying a fair, not distressed price.”