The real estate investment trust (REIT) sector continues to rebound from its miserable performance in 2007, with returns that handily beat the major equity indexes through the end of May.

   The FTSE NAREIT All REIT index gained 6.46% and the FTSE NAREIT Equity REIT index rose 8.17% at the end of the first five months. Conversely, the Nasdaq Composite lost 4.89%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 4.72%, the S&P 500 dipped 3.80%, and the Russell 2000 was down 1.81% during this period.

   According to the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts, the leading sectors were self storage (up 21.09%), residential (15.60%) and diversified (12.49%).

   After the REIT market's last bull run peaked in January 2007, the sector plummeted 27% by the end February 2008. It has since rebounded.