REITs rose again last week with a 1.5% total return on the FTSE Nareit All Equity REITs index. This is the fourth week out of the past five that REITs have gained more than 1%, and last week’s increase put REITs up 4.8% for the first six weeks of the year.
Most property sectors increased last week. The largest returns were in retail, with a 7.0% total return. The regional mall and shopping center subsectors rose sharply, with weekly returns of 12.0% and 8.9%, respectively (detail on subsectors not shown in table). Lodging/resorts had a 5.6% gain last week, and residential was up 3.5%.
Results year-to-date show a pattern where the sectors that felt the negative impact of the pandemic hardest in 2020 are among those rebounding the most on the early parts of 2021. Retail REITs have returned 13.8% so far this year, and lodging/resorts are up 6.7%. At the other end of the spectrum, data centers are down slightly in 2021 and infrastructure REITs have risen less than 1%. Of course, after total returns last year of 21.0% and 12.2%, respectively, these sectors that support the digital economy still have large gains since the start of the pandemic.