Rising Rates Hurt Real Estate Stocks

According to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal, the Fed’s rate-hike program is “upending real-estate investment trusts and other stocks with juicy dividend yields that had been thriving in a lower interest-rate environment.”

While investors tend to purchase shares of real-estate firms and other stocks like utilities for “safe, bond-like returns,” the article reports, as the Fed implements further tightening, “the payouts on U.S. government bonds are rising and forcing investors to consider whether they are better off shifting money into bonds that are poised to see higher yields.”

According to John LaForge, head of real asset strategy at Wells Fargo Investment Institute, real estate investment trust “performance often moves in an opposite direction from interest rates.” A recent report from Bank of America Merriil Lynch states that active fund managers have cut their real-estate sector exposure to a six-month low.

The article argues that rising interest rates, however, are not necessarily bad news for stocks, citing financials as beneficiaries of a rising interest rate environment “because it makes their lending operations more profitable.” The article adds that consumer staple companies are also seeing increased investor interest.