The FTSE Nareit All Equity REITs index performed strongly in 2021, with a total return of 41.3%, while the FTSE Nareit Equity REITs index rose 43.2%. On a yearly basis this is the second-strongest year on record dating back to the inception of the index series on Dec. 31, 1971, as shown in the chart below. Mortgage REITs were positive, notching returns of 22.5% for the commercial financing sector and 11.5% for the home financing sector. Broader markets also turned in positive annual performance in 2021, with a total return of 26.5% on the Russell 1000.
In the final week of the year, REIT property sector performance was generally strong. Timber REITs led with a total return of 6.2%, with infrastructure following at 4.7% and industrial at 4.2%. Office and lodging/resorts lagged with total returns of 1.7% and 0.2%, respectively.
Mortgage REIT returns were muted, with returns of 0.4% for commercial financing mREITs and -1.2% for home financing mREITs.