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Research - JANUARY 11, 2021

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REITs rise 3.3% in December

by Loretta Clodfelter

REITs advanced 3.3 percent in December, according to the FTSE Nareit Equity REITs Index, but were down 8 percent for full-year 2020. By comparison, the S&P 500 Index increased 3.7 percent in December and rose 18.4 percent during 2020. In November, REITs rose 10.9 percent following the election of Joe Biden and the announcement that vaccines for COVID-19 would become available.

The only REIT category to record a negative performance in December was infrastructure, down 2.7 percent. Strong performances were recorded by timber (up 13.6 percent), manufactured homes (up 9.3 percent) and freestanding retail (up 5.3 percent).

It should be no surprise that the best-performing property sectors in 2020 were those that could not only survive but thrive amid the global pandemic: data centers, up 21.0 percent in 2020; self-storage, up 12.3 percent; industrial, up 12.2 percent; timber, up 10.3 percent; infrastructure, up 7.3 percent; and single-family rentals, up 6.0 percent.

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