Real Estate Stocks Continue To Rebound

Foreign and US real estate equities extended March’s rally into the first week of April, generating the top performances among the major asset classes last week, based on a set representative exchange-traded products.

Vanguard Global ex-US Real Estate (VNQI) posted the strongest increase, rising 1.2% for the five trading days through Apr. 7. A close second-place performer last week: Vanguard REIT (VNQ), which advanced 1.1%.

Despite the pop in real estate, a negative skew weighed on last week’s performances. Foreign corporate bonds suffered the biggest setback via PowerShares International Corporate Bond (PICB), which shed 1.1%.

The negative bias in last week’s trading pinched the Global Markets Index (GMI.F). This investable, unmanaged benchmark that holds all the major asset classes in market-value weights eased 0.3% last week.

Winners still outnumber losers in the one-year column, but the red-ink brigade’s membership list has expanded to include four slices of the major asset classes as of last week’s close. The biggest decline for the trailing one-year return among the major asset classes: foreign government bonds in the developed markets via SPDR Bloomberg Barclays International Treasury Bond (BWX), which is down 5.1%.

Meanwhile, emerging-market equities continue to hold the top spot for one-year total return as of Apr. 8. Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets (VWO) is ahead by 23.2% in total-return terms over the past 12 months.

GMI.F’s one-year trend is still solidly positive, although the benchmark’s performance has been slipping lately. The index’s is ahead by 9.8% for the trailing one-year period, or about half the gain that prevailed during the opening weeks of 2017.