REIT returns far exceeded their historical averages in 2014 -- returning more than 27% -- as measured by the FTSE NAREIT All REITS index. Over the last 10 and 20 years, the average annual return for the index was 8.6% and 8.9%, respectively.
Ten- and 20-year compound annualized returns for the index are much lower, however, taking into account its 73% drawdown in during the financial crisis of 2007-’08, at 4.6% and 2.4%, respectively.
By property sector type, residential REITs had the highest return in 2014 (40%), followed by health care (33.3%), lodging/resorts (32.5%), retail (27.6%) and diversified (27.2%).
Boston-based Winthrop Realty Trust -- which is currently in the process of liquidating -- had the highest return among stocks in the FTSE NAREIT All REITs index (65.5%).