New York Times columnist Jeff Brown recently asked the question, Is it Time to Invest in Real Estate?
His answer – well, maybe.
Brown profiles a pair of exchange traded funds that started trading in June that offer a unique opportunity to bet on the price changes of ordinary homes. The MacroShares Major Metro Housing Up ETF (DMM) and MacroShares Major Metro Housing Down ETF (UMM) both track changes in the S&P/Case-Shiller Composite-10 Home Price Index, reflecting home prices in the 10 largest U.S. cities.
Brown also notes that, as a group, REITs just finished their best quarter ever, snapping back after investors concluded real estate may not be such a black hole after all. The Dow Jones Equity All REIT Total Return Index, tracking more than 100 REITs, gained nearly 29 percent in the quarter ended June 30.
REITs are included in the index that is tracked by the Dow Jones U.S. Real Estate Index Fund (IYW). See Investing in REITs with ETFs for more ideas on using exchange traded funds to invest in real estate.