Is Real Estate ETF a Stealth Technology Trade?

Believe it or not, real-estate investment trusts (REITs) are leading the market this month.

The SPDR Real Estate ETF (XLRE) is up 1.8 percent so far in May. That contrasts with a 2.4 percent drop for the broader S&P 500 over the same period.

Even more surprising, two major technology trends are driving the gains: wireless communications and cloud-computing. That’s helping rescue a corner of the market that once looked threatened by shopping-mall closures across the U.S.

For example, XLRE’s biggest holding is American Tower (AMT), owns 170,000 cell-phone towers in places like the U.S., Mexico and India. Together with two smaller rivals, Crown Castle (CCI) and SBA Communications (SBAC), wireless towers account for 22 percent of the fund’s assets.

SPDR Real Estate ETF (XLRE) with 50- and 200-day moving averages.

5G Networks Coming

The tower story has grown along with the spread of smart phones and streaming video in recent years. But that could be small potatoes compared with the advent of 5G networks over the next decade. Companies don’t seem seem to be issuing hard revenue estimates yet, but industry experts see the new technology as a major growth driver for wireless towers. That’s especially true because most of the suitable locations in big population centers have already been gobbled up.

Data centers are the other hot technology trend in the real-estate sector. Most investors know about rise of cloud computing as corporations and governments migrate old computer systems to third-party servers.

But a lot of investors might not consider the handful of REITs whose buildings house those computer arrays. Equinix (EQIX) and Digital Realty Trust (DLR) are the two in XLRE, accounting for another 8 percent of the funds assets. Other less-known firms include CyrusOne (CONE), CoreSite Realty (COR) and QTS Realty Trust (QTS).

Equinix (EQIX) chart. Notice “golden cross” of 50-day MA rising above 200-day MA.

XLRE’s Main Holdings

Here’s a breakdown of the five largest holdings in XLRE:

  1. American Tower (AMT): The world’s biggest wireless-tower owner.
  2. Simon Property Group (SPG): The largest U.S. retail REIT, owning more than 200 million square feet of shopping malls and outlet stores.
  3. Crown Castle (CCI): The wireless-tower company has more than 40,000 locations across the U.S.
  4. Prologis (PLD): The owner of warehouses and shipping centers is also a technology play, benefiting from the sharp rise of e-commerce.
  5. Equinix (EQIX): The owner of cloud-computing facilities continues to open new locations from Warsaw to Singapore.

Aside from the up-and-coming technology REITs, members of the sector also own apartment buildings, health-care facilities and public-storage units.

The Impact of Interest Rates

Investors interested in REITs should also know that they’re often sensitive to interest rates. Lower rates tend to be positive because the market values REITs for their dividends. That’s been the case recently, making XLRE on of only two major sector funds to hit a new all-time high yesterday. The SPDR Consumer Staples ETF (XLP) was the other. 

On the flip side, REITs are less economically sensitive than other sectors like industrials or semiconductors. That can make them less attractive to investors when growth accelerates.

In conclusion, REITs are relatively new as a standalone sector. A lot of investors may ignore them, but they’ve become an increasingly important part of both the stock market and the broader economy. Hopefully this article helped to you to learn some of the big names and trends at play.

This article was written by David Russell, TradeStation Securities, Inc., part of the Monex Group Inc, published on 20/05/2019.

Risk Disclaimer: The information above is of general nature only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or investment needs. Prior to you make an investment decision, please make sure you carefully read and fully understand our Financial Services Guide, Terms and Conditions, Privacy Policy and other relevant documents that you can obtain from this website. Monex Securities Australia Pty Ltd (AFSL No. 363972; ABN 84 142 210 179) is the Financial services provider. Financial products trading carries risks and may not be suitable for all investors. You are strongly recommended to seek independent financial advice before making any investment decisions.

Trade The World Anywhere & Anytime!

Mobile app platform with over 50,000 global listed securities across 12 markets (over 70% global market capitalisation), right from your Android or iOS device.

Integrated with exclusive trading idea and investment analysis tools to help you find actionable insight on virtually every financial instrument across our 12 global markets, to help you optimise your trading strategies.

Refer Your Friends

Tell your friends about Monex and gift them FREE access to our trading tools.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

We respect your privacy and will only send this one email notification to your friends. 

Share With Your Friends

Rebate Rewards

Level 2 Rebate

Deposit $2,000 and get $200 Rebate
$ 200 Rebate
  • 3 Simple Steps
  • 1. Register Using The Link Below (Promo-Code: WEBREBATE)
  • 2. Deposit $2,000 and place one trade at any non-Austalian market within 30 calendar days
  • 3. Receive Your $200 Rebate

Level 1 Rebate

Deposit $1,000 and get $100 Rebate
$ 100 Rebate
  • 3 Simple Steps
  • 1. Register Using The Link Below (Promo-Code: WEBREBATE)
  • 2. Deposit $1,000 and place one trade at any non-Austalian market within 30 calendar days
  • 3. Receive Your $100 Rebate

Monex Trading Tools Access and Usage Terms

The Monex Trading Tools (referred to as ‘tools’ hereafter) are available to you inside your client portal;

To activate access to the tools, you must have a verified and approved trading account and have made a deposit of at least AUD $1000.

An active and funded account with a positive trading balance is required to continue to have access to the tools;

Although the tools are available to you, Monex Securities may at it’s discretion disable access to the tools in the future;

Monex Securities reserves the right to change these terms and conditions from time to time, as it sees fit, without notice.

Act Fast - Promotion Ends In
Click Here To Get Started
Act Fast - Promotion Ends In
Click Here For More Info