NAREIT Launches Total REIT Industry Tracker (T-Tracker) Series

NAREIT is releasing a new report, the Total REIT Industry Tracker Series, or as T-Tracker. Calvin Schnure, NAREIT senior vice president for research and economic analysis, provided an overview of the new report.

Schnure explained that T-Tracker is a quarterly report containing a series of measures of operating performance of all U.S. listed REITs. The Tracker Series has three components: the Funds From Operations (FFO) tracker; the Net Operating Income (NOI) tracker; and the Dividend Tracker.

Schnure said the T-Tracker provides the first industry-wide measure of the performance of the U.S. REIT industry.

He noted that the report will be pertinent to anyone who is studying, researching or analyzing REITs. Individual investors could find it helpful to understand broadly what the industry is doing, while portfolio managers and advisors might also gain a lot of use from the broad numbers that show how the industry has performed over time.

The academic community should also be able to use these data for research to improve our understanding of the REIT sector, Schnure said.

Turning to the latest data highlighted in the T-tracker series, Schnure pointed out that REIT FFO totaled $11.2 billion in the first quarter. This is an 8 percent gain from the first quarter of 2014, which is a bit of a slowing from the past two  years when FFO rose 21 percent.

Schnure said the deceleration is not surprising since the overall economy slowed earlier in the year, and commercial real estate was not immune to the trend.  The T-Tracker also showed that NOI was $18.3 billion in the first quarter, up 11.6 percent from a year ago, which again was a slowing from the nearly 18 percent NOI growth for all of 2014.

Total dividends paid by equity and mortgage REITs were $11.8 billion in the first quarter, about 21 percent higher than the year before. Schnure noted that total dividends paid in 2014 were $42 billion, underscoring that REITs provide solid income for U.S. investors.