REITs outperformed the S&P 500 Index in July. The FTSE NAREIT All REITs Index gained 4.85% in July on a total return basis, while the S&P 500's total return was 2.10% and the S&P Composite 1500 returned 1.84%. Year to date, however, the S&P has outperformed REITs.
Total returns for listed REITs in the first quarter of 2015 outperformed the S&P 500 by four to one, according to NAREIT. The FTSE NAREIT All REITs Index registered a 4.05% total return, compared with the S&P 500's 0.95%. Self-storage was the top-performing REIT sector.
REIT shares are once again beating the larger equity market's performance, after interest rate fears caused the sector to trail the market last year. REIT stocks posted returns of 8.6% for the first quarter, according to the DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index, outpacing the S&P 500's total return of 1.8% over the same period. It's a return to normal, says Jerry Ehlinger, who manages a REIT fund for Heitman in Chicago.
REITs continued to outpace the S&P 500 in the first quarter. Both the FTSE NAREIT All Equity REITs Index and the FTSE NAREIT All REITs Index delivered higher returns than the S&P 500's 5.92%. "REITs are benefiting from the strengthening economy more than other investments," said Brad Case, NAREIT's senior vice president of research and industry information.
Digital Realty Trust is outperforming other REITs. Although Digital Realty was down 9.7% last year, that was better than the S&P 500's 40% decline in 2008. The REIT owns, develops and manages corporate data centers and other technology-related properties.