Stock rally leaves REITs in the dust

stock-rallyBy Robbie Whelan | The Wall Street Journal

Just about anyone who bet on stocks last year reaped handsome returns—unless they bet on real-estate stocks.

While the broader stock market indexes finished 2013 with hefty gains—the S&P 500 index notched a total return of 32.4%—real-estate investment trusts managed to eke out average returns of just 2.7%, as measured by the Dow Jones Equity All REIT Total Return index.

The numbers represent the widest gap between the performance of real-estate stocks and the broader market since 1998, when the S&P 500 returned 28.6% to investors while REITs produced a total return of minus-17%.

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