While May was sort of a neutral month for real estate investment trusts (REITs) with the FTSE Group and National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts Index up a meager 1.0 percent (after being up 5.11 percent in May), REITs year-to-date have shown total returns of 14.13 percent, including dividends.

The following chart details on a property-sector-by-property-sector basis the total returns for the month of May as well as on a year-to-date basis; sector-by-sector dividend yields also are included.

 

Property Sector

Total Return

May 2011

Total Return

Year-to-Date

Dividend Yield

May 2011

Industrial

2.03%

16.07%

3.07%

Office

2.44%

17.81%

3.06%

Office/Industrial (Mix)

0.69%

16.46%

4.78%

Shopping Centers

-1.06%

8.34%

3.45%

Regional Malls

3.22%

17.58%

2.66%

Freestanding Retail

-0.98%

0.79%

5.51%

Multifamily

2.62%

16.88%

2.69%

Manufactured Homes

-0.23%

3.90%

3.90%

Diversified

2.53%

17.53%

3.52%

Hotels

-0.54%

1.99%

1.57%

Health Care

-0.85%

10.10%

5.10%

Self-storage

0.57%

18.40%

2.77%

Timber

-4.45%

16.10%

3.41%

Equity REIT Index

1.00%

14.13%

3.28%

Winners and Losers:

For the month of May, regional malls, multifamily, and diversified (multiproperty) were the winners, up 3.22 percent, 2.62 percent, and 5.23 percent, respectively. Year-to-date, self-storage, office, and regional malls were the leaders, up 18.40 percent, 17.81 percent, and 17.58 percent, respectively.

Losers for the month of May included timber, shopping centers, and freestanding retail, down 4.45 percent, 1.06 percent, and 0.98 percent, respectively. Year-to-date laggards included freestanding retail, up 0.79 percent; hotels, up 1.99 percent; and manufactured homes, up 3.90 percent.

Average REIT dividend yield for the month of May was 3.28 percent.

All in all, investors should be more than a little satisfied by the performance of the REIT sector on a year-to-date basis as well as by the industry’s prospects (organic, internal growth, access to the public and private equity and debt capital markets, positive relative value comparisons, etc.) for the balance of 2011.