Health care was one of the best performing REIT sectors year to date.

U.S. REIT returns “strongly” outpaced the S&P 500 in April and “significantly” outpaced the broader equity market in the first four months of the year, with self-storage the industry’s top-performing sector year to date, delivering an 18.83% total return, according to the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts.

NAREIT said that on a total return basis, the FTSE NAREIT All REITs Index was up 2.88% in April, the FTSE NAREIT All Equity REITs Index was up 2.99%, and the FTSE NAREIT Mortgage REITs Index was up 1.86%, while the S&P 500 was up 0.74%.

For the first four months of the year, the FTSE NAREIT All REITs Index was up 11.70%, the FTSE NAREIT All Equity REITs Index was up 11.76%, and the FTSE NAREIT Mortgage REITs Index was up 13.23%, compared with the S&P 500’s gain of 2.56%.

Among other REIT market sectors in the first four months of the year, health care was up 16.84%; apartments were up 16.4%; the home financing segment of the FTSE NAREIT Mortgage REITs Index was up 15.36%; office was up 13.61%; and retail was up 12.62%, led by regional malls, up 13.1%.

NAREIT also noted that among individual equity REIT market sectors, five produced dividend yields greater than 4%: free-standing retail (6.07%); health care (5.08%); mixed industrial/office (4.643%); diversified (4.48%) and manufactured homes (4.14%).