The New Real Estate Sector

Real estate is no longer just for people looking to make a move.

A combination of the housing market decline and a barrage of television shows featuring novice real estate investors have people fixing up homes then listing properties with hopes of making a profit.1

The real estate investment craze has become so mainstream that in September it was named a separate, unique sector in the Global Industry Classification Standard.2 This 11th sector is the first to be added to the industry standard since it was first developed in 1999.3

Real estate holdings previously resided within the financial sector. This new classification will include Equity Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs); note however, that mortgage REITs will remain in the financial sector.4

The separation between financial and real estate offers an opportunity for investors to diversify even more between the two sectors.5 The new sector will include all equity REITs and real estate management and development companies.6

At the time of the launch, the S&P 500 allocated a market weight of over 3.23 percent to the new sector, while the Russell 2000 Value Index assigned it a 12.21 percent weighting.7 Some investment analysts predict that this higher visibility of the real estate sector could prompt greater investor demand and lower volatility for the overall market.8

On the first day of trading, the official real estate sector rose 0.75 percent, although it is anticipated that underlying securities will meet headwinds when interest rates begin to rise.9 However, positive signs in the housing market have homebuilders feeling increasingly confident.10 

A September survey gauging builder confidence showed increases in current home sales, expectations of future sales and homebuyer traffic from the month before.11

It’s important to consider any investment within the context of your own goals, risk tolerance, investment timeline and the composition of your overall portfolio. You should speak with a qualified financial advisor before making any decisions about your personal situation. 

1 Jeff Reeves. USA Today. May 21, 2016. “As rents keep rising, more investors turn landlords.”http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2016/05/19/rents-keep-rising-more-investors-turn-landlords/84037794/. Accessed Sept. 19, 2016.
2 Paul Sullivan. New York Times. Aug. 26, 2016. “Real Estate Strikes Out on Its Own in the Stock Indexes.”http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/27/your-money/real-estate-strikes-out-on-its-own-in-the-stock-indexes.html. Accessed Sept. 29, 2016.
3 Ibid.
4 MSCI and S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC. March 8, 2016. “S&P Dow Jones Indices and MSCI Revisions to the Global Industry Classification Standard Structure.” https://www.msci.com/documents/10199/37f69ddd-2fa0-4b95-9970-5e929a97f7b8. Accessed Sept. 19, 2016.
5 Melda Mergen. Columbia Management Investment Advisors. Sep. 6, 2016. “What the new real estate sector means for investors.” https://blog.columbiathreadneedleus.com/what-the-new-real-estate-sector-means-for-investors. Accessed Sept. 19, 2016.
6 Ibid.
7 Ibid.
8 Ibid.
9 Fred Imbert. CNBC. Sept. 19, 2016. “S&P real estate sector rises in first day of trading.”http://www.cnbc.com/2016/09/19/sp-real-estate-sector-rises-in-first-day-of-trading.html. Accessed Sept. 19, 2016.
10 Diana Olick. CNBC. Sept. 19, 2016. “Homebuilder sentiment jumps to 65 in September, highest level in nearly a year.”http://www.cnbc.com/2016/09/19/homebuilder-sentiment-jumps-to-65-in-september-highest-level-in-nearly-a-year.html. Accessed Oct. 14, 2016.
11 Ibid.

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