The National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts recently released some new data about REITs.

A real estate investment trust, or REIT, is a way for investors to diversify into real estate without becoming a landlord. REITs own residential and/or commercial real estate and some specialize in different industries such as health care buildings, resort properties or self storage facilities. Many REITs are traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

As with the other stock market indexes such as the S&P 500, the FTSE REIT indexes have all fallen so far this year. Here are some of the numbers:

  • FTSE NAREIT All REIT Index (includes 135 REITs) – down more than 32 percent in first two months of 2009
  • FTSE NAREIT Equity REIT Index – down more than 34.5 percent
  • FTSE NAREIT Mortgage REIT Index – down more than 13 percent

Of the REITs that specialize in specific industries:

  • Home Financing REITs declined 10.8 percent in first two months of 2009
  • Health Care REITs fell more than 30 percent
  • Industrial REITs down more than 49 percent
  • Lodging/resort REITs declined almost 44 percent

FTSE is an independent company jointly owned by the Financial Times and the London Stock Exchange.

March 9, 2009