Real estate investors don’t have much to write home about this year compared with last year when they beat the stock market by a wide swath. The benchmark real estate exchange traded fund,Vanguard REIT ETF (VNQ), lost 1.5% year to date, through July 17, after rallying 30% in 2014. The SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) climbed 4.3% and 13% over the same periods. Foreign real estate markets, as tracked by Vanguard Global ex-US Real Estate ETF (VNQI), surged 5.3% year to date after adding 2.2% last year.
To zero in on the best areas of real estate invest in now and get an overall assessment of the market, I checked in with Burl East. He serves as CEO of American Assets Capital Advisers, in San Diego, Calif. with $2.65 billion under management. He is also sub-adviser to the Altegris/AACA Real Estate Long Short Fund (RAAIX), overseeing $111 in assets. His fund gained 4.3% year to date and 13.8% in the past year, through July 17.