Real estate investment trusts (REITs) are an interesting asset class, allowing investors to purchase shares in large-ticket assets like multi-family properties or shopping centers. But given the changing landscape due to online shopping (aka, the Amazon effect), Covid economic shutdowns, etc., REITs should be having a hard time. But aren’t. How come?
Covid economic shutdowns definitely took its toll on retail shopping centers, as an example. And you can see the plunge in the NAREIT All equity index in early 2020. But the NAREIT All-equity index rallied … until The Federal Reserve started tightening their loose monetary policy. Note that as the implied O/N rate rose (orange line), REIT shares declined.
But as the WIRP implied O/N rate settled (pink box), the NAREIT index began to climb again. It is clear that REITs, like other equities, benefit from Fed easing. But how long will The Fed continue tightening?
As of this morning, The Federal Reserve is anticipated to raise their O/N rate to 3.738% by March 22, 2023. Then begin lowering their target rate … again.
Sadly, REITs, like other equity investments such as the S&P 500 index, are sensitive to The Fed’s easing/tightening. Look for REITs to struggle as The Fed tightens, then rally as The Fed eases again.
Here is the (in)famous Hindenburg Omen. Notice how the Hindenburg Omen alarm bells (yellow and red dots) have been silenced by The Fed. But as The Fed tightens (at least until March ’22), we may see the Hindenburg Omen flashing again. Call it the Powellburg Omen.
The NCREIF property index had a decline in the Covid-outbreak era (early 2020) and you can see a slight slowdown in the NCREIF index as The Fed started tightening to fight inflation.