Midway through the third quarter of 2000, real estate securities (REITs) continue to rebound while the S&P is struggles to find positive territory, according to the investment advisors Lend Lease Rosen Real Estate Securities LLC.

Having posted 9.3% total return in the third quarter to date and 25.1% gains year to date, as measured by the Wilshire REIT Index, “REITs are no longer the laggard in the equities performance derby,” says Michael A. Torres, president of Lend Lease Rosen.

Year to date, REITs are beating the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index by more than 20 percent. Through the seven months of 2000, the Lipper Real Estate Fund Index reported that real estate mutual funds delivered an average 20.8% return year to date, compared to 2.5% over the same period in 1999.

Hotel REITs have produced a 13.1% gain, the best total return during the third quarter in the Wilshire REIT Index, followed by the diversified (up 12.1%) and apartment (up 10.9%) sectors. Hotel REITs have performed very well year to date, up 37.9%.

Retail REITs, meanwhile, are still struggling to attract investor attention as evidenced by the relative underperformance. Quarter to date, the factory outlet malls are down 4%, shopping center REITs are up a modest 2.4% and regional malls are up 7.5%.

Lend Lease Rosen Real Estate Securities LLC manages $1.4 billion in assets, primarily for public and private pension funds.

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