Seeking Alpha

With rates on the move, REIT investors look outside the box

  • Rising interest rates have brought 4 years of easy gains for the REIT market to a halt and have advisers honing their bets. The board NAREIT All Equity REIT Index is up about 8% this year, not just paling in comparison the S&P 500's 24% gain, but REITs had been up 15% early in 2013 before rates started rising.
  • On the idea of higher rates hitting relatively-highly levered REITs the most, Andrew Ahrens is looking for REITs with less relative debt on their books. On favorite is the iShares Retail Real Estate Capped ETF (RTL). He's also putting money into foreign-leaning funds such as Cohen & Steers' Global Realty Majors ETF (GRI).
  • Cohen & Steers portfolio manager Chip McKinley suggests - unlike the U.S. - overseas REITs are only just now beginning to become popular. U.K. real estate companies are up more than 20% this year; Japan more than 40%. Up and comers include Germany and Australia. "Both markets are home to high-quality developers with attractive portfolios that are priced well-below the value of their underlying properties."
  • Paul Curbo - co-manager of the actively-managed PowerShares Active U.S. Real Estate Fuind (PSR) - likes REITs with shorter-term leases as well as retail operators with more flexibility in setting lease rates.
  • Global real estate ETFs: WPS, VNQI, RWX, RWO, IFAS, DRW, IFGL, GRI, FFR, IFEU, RWXL, IFNA.
  • Broad U.S. real estate ETFs: IYR, VNQ, DRN, URE, SRS, RWR, ICF, SCHH, DRV, KBWY, REK, FRI, FTY, PSR, WREI.
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