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ETF Chart of the Day: Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)


A sector that was caught up in the equity wash-out that seems to have reversed course beginning earlier this week is that of REITs.

The second largest ETF in the space, IYR (iShares Dow Jones U.S. Real Estate, Expense Ratio 0.48%), has seen immense, and sometimes frenetic trading volume lately, and asset flows, most recently taking in about $580 million via creation activity (it had previously lost more than $600 million during the recent downdraft in the sector).

Year to date, it has basically been a wash for the yield rich ETF (3.52% yield), attracting a net of $31 million in assets.

VNQ (Vanguard REIT, Expense Ratio 0.10%), the largest REIT based ETF with more than $17 billion in assets under management has also seen a huge pick up in trading volume and a quick reversal in price direction since this Monday, rising back above its 200 day MA after briefly gapping through this level.

Year to date, VNQ has pulled in an impressive $1.7 billion in net new assets although it has seen almost $1 billion leave the fund just in the month of June alone.

VNQ sports a yield of 3.37%. Being yield oriented assets, REITs were pressed hard this month, especially last week following comments from Bernanke and the Fed regarding the potential for future policy actions, and we collectively saw other equities such as MLPs and Utilities dip as well which might be expected in such an environment.

Top holdings in IYR are SPG, AMT, HCP, PSA, and VTR at the moment, while VNQ owns SPG, PSA, HCP, VTR, and EQR among its top ten, and both funds tend to be rather correlated over time as one might expect.

Other U.S. based REIT funds that have seen a bid in recent sessions as fundamental “value” oriented investors seemed to have appeared here include ICF (iShares Cohen & Steers Realty Majors, Expense Ratio 0.35%), RWR (SPDR Dow Jones REIT, Expense Ratio 0.25%), REM (iShares FTSE NAREIT Mortgage REIT, Expense Ratio 0.48%), and SCHH (Schwab U.S. REIT, Expense Ratio 0.07%) to name a few.

iShares Dow Jones U.S. Real Estate

For more information on Street One ETF research and ETF trade execution/liquidity services, contact Paul Weisbruch at pweisbruch@streetonefinancial.com.

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