REITs are being broken out from the finance sector. While that makes some intuitive sense, S&P track record on creating new sectors has been noteworthy for its timing.
Here is the Wall Street Journal:
“Real-estate investment trusts own real estate and pay steady dividends, which have been attractive to investors with interest rates so low. More than a net $62 billion had flowed into U.S. real-estate funds since 2001 through the end of 2015, according to Morningstar Inc. data.
S&P 500 Gets Its First New Sector Since the Dot-Com Era
The number of publicly traded REITs has also risen. Since 2001, 129 real-estate investment trusts have gone public in the U.S., raising more than $38 billion, according to Dealogic. There are roughly 240 REITs listed on the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.”
However, REITs have been huge winners, especially in the ETF space. Again, this is a sector that has already had a great run:
Real Estate Gets Starring Role in S&P 500, Spurring ETF OverhaulSource: Bloomberg