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NEW YORK CITY-On Aug 23, the Morgan Stanley REIT Index (RMS) reached a new all-time high of 421.62 and then slipped the next day to 418.52. This followed several weeks of record-breaking performances, two of them in two different weeks. Then, last Friday, it slipped further, down to 409.89, down from 410.81 the day before, reports the Bear Stearns REIT Monitor.

Despite this slippage, the RMS, with a year-to-date gain of 12%, is well above the major equity indexes. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 7.8% for the same period, the S&P 500 is off 14.1% and the Nasdaq has fared the worst of the three with a loss of 26.9%.

In addition, after a month of substantial of net inflows to real estate mutual funds that, on occasion, surpassed the largest inflows in almost a year, for the week ending Aug. 29 net outflows totaled $19.1 million. At the same time, market values dipped to $12 billion, a loss of about $100 million.

The average dividend yield for the RMS rose last week from 6.63% to 6.76%, the spread over the S&P moved up from 534 basis points to 537 bps and the spread over the 10-year Treasury moved up from 170 bps to 193 bps.

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