Rates Up, REITs Down
U.S. equity markets finished broadly higher on the first week of 2021 despite partisan tensions flaring following the Georgia runoff elections in which Democrats gained a "trifecta" of political control.
After finishing 2020 with total returns of 18.4%, the S&P 500 jumped 2.0%. The large-cap index, however, was outpaced by Mid-Caps and Small-Caps, which surged 4.8% and 6.4%, respectively.
With additional stimulus likely high on the political docket for the incoming Biden administration, rising inflation expectations sent Treasury yields surging to post-pandemic highs, pressuring the yield-sensitive REIT sector.
It was a busy week of REIT-related news flow. Life Storage became the first REIT to boost its dividend in 2021. Q4 rent collection updates ranged from 99% to a low of 46%, underscoring the continued bifurcation.
The U.S. economy lost 140k jobs in December - the first month of job declines since April - as the employment rebound reversed amid the "third wave" of coronavirus-induced economic shutdowns.
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Additional Disclosure: It is not possible to invest directly in an index. Index performance cited in this commentary does not reflect the performance of any fund or other account managed or serviced by Hoya Capital Real Estate. Data quoted represents past performance, which is no guarantee of future results. Information presented is believed to be factual and up-to-date, but we do not guarantee its accuracy.