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Real Estate ETFs at All-Time Highs: Here's Why

The U.S. real estate sector is in the pink this year. Rising inflation, uptick in home prices, booming cloud business and attractive yield

This story originally appeared on Zacks

The U.S. real estate sector is in the pink this year. Nuveen Short-Term REIT ETF (NURE) has been the best performer with 40.2% year-to-date gains. Several real estate ETFs have been hovering around the all-time highs.

- Zacks

We highlight below the reasons that have boosted the real estate ETFs.

Rising Inflation

The current economic backdrop is favorable for an inflation comeback. The U.S. consumer price inflation rate stood at 5.4% in July 2021, unchanged from the previous month's 13-year high and slightly above market expectations of 5.3%, thanks to easy comparison caused by the coronavirus crisis, the re-opening of the economy and persistent supply constraints. In a rising inflation environment, real estate stocks act as a good bet. Both, resale value of the property and rental income, rise with price inflation.

Some specific categories within REITs like shopping centers, apartments and self-storage have shown promise lately, as they benefit from reopening. Residential and commercial real estate rents are strongly rebounding this year, after last year’s plunge due to the pandemic.

Uptick in Home Prices is a Boon for Renters

The U.S. homebuilding sector is on fire. Thanks to extremely low mortgage rates, home sales are upbeat. But higher demand for home buying as well as lack of labor and land has boosted home prices. This is a great scenario for renters.

Along with some analysts, we too believe that fast-rising home prices are likely to keep prospective homebuyers away from the ownership and direct them toward the rental market. “Homeownership is still dead in this country because the only people that are buying homes right now are people that have equity, great credit and a job,” multi-family housing investor Grant Cardone told Yahoo Finance, quoted on an article.

Still Shaky Job Market = High Demand for Rent from Low-Income Group

The job market is still far from steady. Though the U.S. economy added 943,000 jobs in July 2021, the maximum in eleven months and above market expectations of 870,000, the economy is yet to attain full-employment. This means demand for real estates for rent purpose is likely to remain strong from middle-income or low-income consumers.

Booming Cloud Business and Rollout of 5G

A stupendous tech rally has been aiding the data center REITs in recent times. Data center REITs own and manage facilities that aid customers to safely store data. These REITs provide continued power supplies, air-cooled chillers and physical security.

Meanwhile, cell-tower REITs area has been a beneficiary of the rapid rollout of 5G. Investors should note that increased consumption of mobile data has been boosting this space.

Real Estates Are Lucrative Amid a Low-Yield Environment

If these are not enough, a general low-rate environment is great for real estate stocks and ETFs as these are high-yielding in nature. The benchmark U.S. 10-year treasury yield was 1.31% on Sep 1. Against such a low-yield backdrop, dividends offered by real estate ETFs are quite sturdy.

Some of the decent real estate ETF plays right now are VanEck Vectors Mortgage REIT Income ETF (MORT) (yields 6.80% annually), Global X SuperDividend REIT ETF SRET (yields 6.45% annually) and Invesco KBW Premium Yield Equity REIT ETF KBWY (yields 6.00% annually).

Against this backdrop, below we highlight a few real state ETFs that are hovering around a 52-week high.

ETFs in Focus

Global X Data Center REITs & Digital Infrastructure VPN – Yields 0.62% annually

Pacer Benchmark & Infrastructure Real Estate ETF SRVR – Yields 1.33% annually           

U.S. Real Estate iShares ETF IYR– Yields 1.85% annually

Cohen & Steers REIT iShares ETF ICF – Yields 1.81% annually

S&P 500 Real Estate Sector SPDR XLRE – Yields 2.78% annually

Tech IPOs With Massive Profit Potential: Last years top IPOs surged as much as 299% within the first two months. With record amounts of cash flooding into IPOs and a record-setting stock market, this year could be even more lucrative. 

See Zacks’ Hottest Tech IPOs Now >>

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Invesco KBW Premium Yield Equity REIT ETF (KBWY): ETF Research Reports


iShares Cohen & Steers REIT ETF (ICF): ETF Research Reports


Real Estate Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLRE): ETF Research Reports


iShares U.S. Real Estate ETF (IYR): ETF Research Reports


Global X SuperDividend REIT ETF (SRET): ETF Research Reports


MorphoSys AG Unsponsored ADR (MOR): Free Stock Analysis Report


Pacer Benchmark Data & Infrastructure Real Estate SCTR ETF (SRVR): ETF Research Reports


Global X Data Center REITs & Digital Infrastructure ETF (VPN): ETF Research Reports


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