Real Estate: Riding the REIT Rebound

Something I read on Yahoo News. by Tara Kalwarski

It’s hard to believe that any asset class could top the 76% runup in equities since the stock market bottomed last March, but real estate investment trusts have done just that. Since Mar. 9, 2009, the S&P Global REIT Index has climbed 114%. In the U.S., the 14 REITs in the S&P 500 are up 140%. “A year and a half ago, people were saying that the REIT industry is going to disappear,” says Howard Roth, global leader of real estate at Ernst & Young. Now, even after posting such gains, the industry is in recovery mode, says Roth. He points out that most REIT markets around the world remain well below their peaks in 2007 or earlier. “With only a couple of exceptions and against all odds, REITs have survived and are on the way up,” according to an E&Y report that Roth co-authored. Although there may be speed bumps ahead — real estate fundamentals vary widely depending on market and property types — many REITs have full coffers they can use “as a cushion and as a war chest,” says Roth .

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