Unloved Global REIT ETF Beckons

With interest rates rising in the U.S., the real estate sector is lagging this year. Real estate stocks, including real estate investment trusts (REITs) and the related exchange traded funds, are viewed as rate-sensitive assets.

Investors may want to consider a more global approach to the real estate sector with the iShares Global REIT ETF (NYSEARCA: REET). REET, which is nearly four years old, tracks the FTSE EPRA/NAREIT Global REIT Index and holds 292 stocks.

“Regardless of what lies ahead, rents have been rising in line with economic growth and inflation, and with limited new supply in many markets and increasing occupancy levels, the industrial, residential and diversified property sectors have performed strongly over the past year,” according to FTSE Russell research.

REITs are securities that trade like a stock and invest in real estate directly through property ownership or mortgages. Consequently, revenue are mainly generated through rents or interest on mortgage loans. To qualify for special tax considerations, the asset also distributes the majority of income, about 90% of taxable profits, to investors as dividends.

Related: US Home Prices Rise: Time to Invest in REITs?

Going Global for REITs

REET allocates 60.72% of its weight to U.S. REITs, but more than 10 other countries are represented in the fund. Most of those countries are unlikely to raise interest rates this year.