The real estate market is often much in focus in periodic business headlines, as most market participants understand the dynamics involved in buying (selling) and owning homes as well as the price fluctuations that affect commercial properties.
The largest real estate focused exchange traded funds in the space are Vanguard REIT (NYSEArca: VNQ), iShares DJ US Real Estate (NYSEArca: IYR) and iShares Cohen & Steers Realty Majors (NYSEArca: ICF). Combined, the three funds have accumulated over $14 billion in assets under management and generally track U.S. listed real estate investment trusts, or REITs.
These three funds have returned 1.05%, -0.70%, and 2.60% year to date respectively.
However, from a performance standpoint, iShares FTSE NAREIT Residential (NYSEArca: REZ) has impressed, and has rallied 9.29% year to date in comparison to the S&P 500 down 4.33%. [REIT ETFs Positive as Investors Chase Yield]
Currently, the fund delivers a 1.41% dividend yield in comparison to the S&P 500’s 2%. REZ has delivered impressive performance in the REIT sector by its focused index methodology which measures the performance of not only the residential segment of the real estate market, but that of the healthcare and self-storage real estate sectors as well.