The momentum effect is a classic anomaly documented many times in many different markets. Therefore it is no surprise several studies are showing that momentum also appears within the REITs universe and REITs with the highest past performance beat lower-performing trusts.

We add this effect to our database; however, we advise caution as one recent academic study (see Huerta, Rivas for details) documents that momentum is starting to lose its statistical and economic significance.

Fundamental reason

Momentum persistence is usually explained by behavioral biases like investor herding, investor over and underreaction, and confirmation bias. For example, if a firm/trust releases good news and the stock price only reacts partially to the good news (under-reaction bias), then buying the stock/trust after the initial release of the news will generate profits.

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Markets Traded
REITs

Backtest period from source paper
1980-2008

Confidence in anomaly's validity
Strong

Indicative Performance
9.51%

Notes to Confidence in Anomaly's Validity

Notes to Indicative Performance

per annum, data for long only strategy with a 3 month holding period, data from table 1


Period of Rebalancing
Monthly

Estimated Volatility

Notes to Period of Rebalancing

Notes to Estimated Volatility

not stated


Number of Traded Instruments
50

Maximum Drawdown

Notes to Number of Traded Instruments

calculated as a one third of estimated average number of REITs in US market (data from studies in “Other papers” section)


Notes to Maximum drawdown

not stated


Complexity Evaluation
Simple strategy

Sharpe Ratio

Notes to Complexity Evaluation

Region
United States

Financial instruments
stocks

Simple trading strategy

The investment universe consists of all US REITs listed on markets. Every month, the investor ranks all available REITs by their past 11-month return one-month lagged and groups them into equally weighted tercile portfolios. He/she then goes long on the best performing tercile for three months. One-third of the portfolio is rebalanced this way monthly, and REITs are equally weighted.

This is not the only way to capture the momentum factor in REITs as a consequential portfolio could be formed as a long/short or from quartiles/quintiles/deciles instead of terciles or based on different formation and holding periods (additional types of this strategy are stated in the “Other papers” section).

Hedge for stocks during bear markets

No - The selected strategy is long-only, and as such, has a strong exposition to equity market risk; therefore, it can’t be used as a hedge/diversification during the time of market crisis.

Source paper
Out-of-sample strategy's implementation/validation in QuantConnect's framework (chart+statistics+code)
Other papers

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