CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA—The top institutional investor in USequity REITs this past quarter? The aptly namedVanguard Group Inc., according to data fromSNL Financial, headquartered here.

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Vanguard's US equity REIT portfolio grew 13.45% in market valueduring Q1, and it added positions in three REITs during the quarterfor a total of 162. The market value of Vanguard's REITinvestments, $78.1 billion, is more than 10 times that of any ofthe 10 lowest-ranked investors in SNL's top 25, derived from Form13-F filings.

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Others in the top 25 as ranked by market value include:BlackRock Fund Advisors, Cohen & Steers CapitalManagement, SSga Funds Management, Fidelity Management &Research, Invesco Advisors, T. Rowe Price Associates, CBRE ClarionSecurities, Daiwa Asset Management Co., Shinko Asset Management,Northern Trust Global Investments, Morgan Stanley InvestmentManagement, APG Asset Management US, Brookfield Asset Management,RREEF America, LaSalle Investment Management Securities, JP MorganAsset Management, Dimensional Fund Advisors, Principal GlobalInvestors, Capital World Investors, Norges Bank InvestmentManagement, Goldman Sachs Asset Management, PGGM VermogensbeheerBV, Capital Research Global Investors andTIAA-CREF Asset Management.

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Although some institutional investors moved up or down in therankings during Q1, BlackRock and Cohen & Steers maintainedtheir second- and third-place rankings, respectively, compared toyear-end 2013. At the end of the first quarter, the market valuesof the firms' respective US equity REIT investments were $43.38billion and $27.74 billion, respectively.

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The firm with the greatest quarter-over-quarter market valueincrease in equity REIT positions among the top 25 institutionalinvestors was RREEF at 33.80%, rising to $7.65 billion from $5.72billion. An arm of Deutsche Asset Management, the firm rose to No.15 from No. 16, though the number of its investment positionsdecreased by eight to 69 holdings at March 31 from 77 holdings atDec. 31.

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Conversely, Northern Trust reported the smallest increase inmarket value of equity REIT holdings, just 3.41%. Its REIT holdingscarried a market value of $9.98 billion at March 31, compared to$9.65 billion at Dec. 31. None of the top 25 saw a negativequarter-over-quarter change in market value of its US equity REITstock holdings.

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The largest quarter-over-quarter increase in REIT positions wasby APG at nine. At the end of last year, it had positions in 74REITs; by the end of Q1, it was 83.

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At the other end of the spectrum, Invesco recorded the largestdecrease in REIT investment positions quarter over quarter. Its 111REIT positions at March 31 compared to 127 as of Dec. 31, for adecrease of 16 positions.

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The average increase in market value for the REIT portfoliosheld by these investors was 11.0%, while the top 25 increased theirholdings by a median of one position during Q1. SNL's US REITEquity index posted an 8.53% total return for the quarter, comparedto a 1.81% return by the S&P 500 during the same timeperiod.

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Paul Bubny

Paul Bubny is managing editor of Real Estate Forum and GlobeSt.com. He has been reporting on business since 1988 and on commercial real estate since 2007. He is based at ALM Real Estate Media Group's offices in New York City.