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NEW YORK CITY-The coming year could prove tough for REITs after bouncing back in 2009 with a 31% benchmark increase after a 38% decline in 2008. This year was so successful that there isn’t much room for REITs to further improve, plus they still have high levels of debt, according to a Wall Street Journal article.

Among the big gainers this year from 2008 were hotels, which rose 69%, and regional malls, moving up 64%. Strip retail centers were the worst-faring sector, dropping 0.7% during the year.

One analyst in the Journal article expects REIT returns this year to come in from flat to a 10% gains. The best bets are industrial, self-storage and student housing because of their lack of reliance on the unemployment picture.

Click here for the full Journal article.

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