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Investors continue to commit to US real estate ETFs in Q4

U.S.-focused real estate ETFs raked in a further $701.6 million net during the fourth quarter of 2019, bringing the total inflows for 2019 to almost $5.82 billion.

JP Morgan Asset Management's JPMorgan BetaBuilders MSCI U.S. REIT ETF collected the most during the recent quarter, at $576.8 million.

Vanguard Group Inc.'s Vanguard Real Estate ETF, the largest U.S. real estate ETF by assets under management, followed with net inflows of $484.1 million in the three months to Dec. 31. For 2019 as a whole, the fund accumulated over $2.34 billion of net inflows, the highest in the group.

At the other end of the spectrum, BlackRock Inc.'s iShares U.S. Real Estate ETF recorded the group's largest net outflow at $591.1 million. SSGA Funds Management Inc.'s Real Estate Select Sector SPDR Fund and SPDR Dow Jones REIT ETF each also had over $100 million of net outflows during the quarter.

In performance terms, Pacer Financial Inc.'s Pacer Benchmark Industrial Real Estate SCTR ETF posted the highest return of the group for both the recent quarter and 2019 as a whole, at 3.7% and 42.2% respectively. The fund focuses on U.S. real estate investment trusts that derive the majority of their revenue from industrial and storage facilities. Its largest holdings are Duke Realty Corp., Prologis Inc. and Liberty Property Trust.

The Pacer Benchmark Data & Infrastructure Real Estate SCTR ETF followed, with a return of 1.8% for the recent quarter and 42.0% for 2019. Its top holdings include American Tower Corp., Crown Castle International Corp. and Equinix Inc.

The Vanguard Real Estate ETF's return for the recent quarter was largely flat, at 0.6%, but it generated a 28.9% return for 2019 as a whole.

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