Mortgage REITs are Still an Attractive High Yield Dividend Play
Mortgage REITs have garnered increased attention among investors in recent weeks after the Federal Reserve announced stimulus measures focused on the purchases of mortgage backed securities. The Market Vectors Mortgage REIT Income ETF (MORT), which seeks to replicate the price and yield performance of the Market Vectors Global Mortgage REITs Index, has gained over 20 percent year-to-date.
Mortgage REITs (mREITs) continue to be that right place for high yield investors. The mortgage REITs are currently at a 4% premium to estimated third quarter book value and yielding 12.0%. One of the biggest risks to mREITs is increasing mortgage prepayments as the reinvestment risk is higher when interest rate spreads decline. The latest data suggests that mortgage prepayment rates showed a slowdown in the level of activity in September.