The European Public Real Estate Association has rolled out its Best Practice Recommendations for Sustainability Reporting. The recommendations outline key performance indicators, including energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, water use and waste.
REITs and REIT ETFs are doing well, but analysts are waiting to see how quarterly earnings shape up before declaring the industry's recovery is a solid one. So far, signs are positive -- Equity Residential, for example, has turned in a solid quarterly report and lifted its 2010 outlook. Another plus: More investors see REITs as more attractive because of their yield.
REITs and REIT ETFs are still performing well despite the growing volatility in the market and uncertainty over unemployment. "Investors are viewing REITs as a more attractive investment than they have in the past few years, given their yields compared to U.S. Treasurys and bonds," Morgan Joseph analyst Carol Kemple says.
Although commercial real estate as a whole is headed for more tough times, some REITs and real estate exchange-traded funds are in a good position to do well through the turmoil, said Jay Leupp, senior portfolio manager for the Grubb & Ellis AGA Realty Income Fund. He pointed to Alexandria Real Estate Equities as a company with strong fundamentals. Its current yield is 9.7%.
Except for exchange-traded funds that employ leverage to multiply their yields, real estate ETFs accounted for 10 of the top-performing funds last month. The iShares FTSE NAREIT Retail Capped Index Fund handed in a 51% return, after four of its REIT holdings saw their share prices double, or more.