Alex Pettee, CFA
REITs On Top In 2021
U.S. equity markets climbed to fresh record-highs on a relatively quiet final week of a memorable 2021 as consumers and government officials remain largely unfazed by the recent pandemic intensification.
Recording its 69th and 70th record-high of 2021 this week, the S&P 500 advanced 0.9% while the Mid-Cap 400 climbed 1.7% and the Small-Cap 600 rose 1.1%.
Fittingly, real estate equities led the way on the week, solidifying Equity REITs as the best-performing major asset class of 2021 with total returns of more than 40%.
High-frequency economic data painted a bright picture this past week as Mastercard reported that holiday spending rose 8.5% from a year earlier, TSA checkpoint data showed a strong Christmas week of domestic travel, and jobless claims declined to multi-decade lows.
Great Ajax was among the leaders on the week after declaring a special cash dividend of $0.10 per share, one of 130 REITs that raised their dividends in 2021, the most ever in a single year with the REIT sector.