In my last look at the real estate market, I noted that real estate has been stagnant for quite awhile, as good and bad reports about real estate cancel each other out from week to week. In addition, even when the real estate headlines seem to be strong, a quick look behind the surface numbers points out some glaring weaknesses in the real estate market.
Main Street might be fooled, but not Wall Street, and most of the real estate sector continues to get punished for it.
In fact, the SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF (XHB) has been the perfect example to represent this ongoing mediocrity. On July 12, 2013, XHB closed at $31.15. Roughly one year later, and it’s 4 cents lower. Add in a 1.6% dividend yield, and your return over the past year was … um, 1.6%.
Not exactly the most scintillating return.
Of course, the advantage of the XHB is the relative ease of the investment. It’s well diversified and you can pretty much set it and forget it. But at this rate, it’s also not going to make you wealthy any time soon. So if you’re absolutely insistent upon investing in the real estate sector, forget the XHB. Instead, here are four vastly superior ways to invest your money right now: