REITs Outperform Stock Market in 2008; As Dow, S&P Sink, Residential REITs are Up 15.7%

By Anuradha Kher, Online News EditorWashington, D.C.–Despite hitting a low in February this year, the FTSE NAREIT All REIT Index outperformed other major market benchmarks so far in 2008.Through the first five months of 2008, the FTSE NAREIT All REIT Index was up 6.46 percent, while the FTSE NAREIT Equity REIT Index was up 8.17 percent, as other market benchmarks remained in negative territory to start the year (the NASDAQ Composite down 4.89 percent, the Dow Jones Industrials down 4.72 percent, the S&P 500 down 3.80 percent, and the Russell 2000 down 1.81 percent).For the year so far, residential REITs were up by 15.60 percent.The REIT downturn of 2007 and early 2008 mirrored the duration and severity of the downturn in 1989-1990. Having reached a low in February, the REIT market has steadily risen in the past three months.In the two most recent downturns, REITs dropped 28.2 percent and 26.3 percent, respectively. The peak-to-trough duration was 14 months and 23 months, respectively.