Research - MARCH 10, 2020

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REITs fall in February amid broader market sell-off

by Loretta Clodfelter

U.S. REITs fell sharply in February, with the FTSE Nareit Equity REITs Index falling 8.0 percent in the month, amid a broader equity markets sell-off driven by fears of the widening spread and economic impact of the novel coronavirus COVID-19. The S&P 500 Index fell 8.4 percent in February.

The market collapse was widespread, with every property category posting declines, but the worst performance was recorded by hotel and lodging REITs. The hospitality segment had a drop of nearly 13.9 percent in February and is down 23.3 percent year to date as travel is curtailed in the face of viral outbreaks.

In fact, the only REIT property sector to still be in the black through the first two months of the year is the infrastructure sector. The segment, which is dominated by wireless communication tower companies, posted a loss of 1.4 percent in February — making it the best-perform

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