The FTSE/NAREIT Equity REIT (real estate investment trust) Index was up 5.11 percent in April, up 13.00 percent through April 30, and pays a 3.29 percent dividend, too.

All 13 property sector sub-indices were positive in April, ranging from the leaders—office/industrial (+7.38 percent), regional malls (+7.15 percent), and diversified (+6.91 percent)to the laggards—industrial (+2.13 percent), timber (+2.29 percent), and freestanding retail (+2.95 percent).

On a year-to-date basis, leaders include timber (+21.50 percent), self-storage (+17.73 percent), and office (+15.01 percent); laggards include freestanding retail (+1.79 percent), hotels (+2.54 percent), and neighborhood/community shopping centers (+9.50 percent).

REITs’ continuing attractiveness to institutional and individual investors stems from a wide array of reasons ranging from their attractive dividends versus those of alternative investments, their perceived ability to provide a hedge against inflation, and their ability to access the public and private equity and debt capital markets, thereby taking advantage of acquisition opportunities in an improving real estate economy.