U.S. REITs are outpacing most other equity indexes in early 2015, according to the latest figures from the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts.
In the first quarter, for instance, the FTSE NAREIT All REITs Index, had a total return of about 4.2%, and the FTSE NAREIT All Equity REITs Index delivered returns of 4% in the three-month period.
That beat the S&P 500’s nearly 1% total return, as well as the 0.3% return of the Dow Jones industrial average and the 3.5% return of the Nasdaq. It didn’t, however, top the Russell 2000’s total return of 4.3%.
U.S. REITs’ dividend yield also outperformed the dividend yield of the S&P 500 in the quarter: The FTSE NAREIT All REITs Index had a dividend yield of 3.8% vs. 2.0% for the S&P 500.
“REITs have a well-established track record of delivering competitive total return performance to their shareholders,” said NAREIT President and CEO Steven A. Wechsler, in a statement. “Their strong dividends are an important component of their total return performance. REIT dividend income has accounted for approximately 60% of total returns over longer holding periods.”
Year to date – including returns through Thursday — the FTSE NAREIT All REITs Index has total returns of roughly 2.5% vs. 2.1% for the S&P 500 and 0.8% for the Dow Jones. The Nasdaq, though, has risen about 5%. (Digital Realty Trust (DLR), for instance, traded up about 2% year to date on Friday.)