In this study, we investigate whether the risk-adjusted returns of a global REIT portfolio would be enhanced by adopting a trend following global strategy (which is an absolute concept sometimes known as absolute momentum), a momentum-based strategy (which is a relative concept and requires individual country allocations), or indeed a combination of the two. We examine the results in terms of both a dedicated global REIT exposure, and the impact on a multi-asset portfolio. We find that the main improvements arise when the broad index is replaced with one of the four trend following strategies. The portfolios deliver similar returns but volatility is reduced by up to a quarter to the 8%–9% range, the Sharpe ratios increase by 0.1 to 0.5 with the main benefit being the reduction in the maximum drawdown to under 30% compared to 43% when the broad index was used. We thus find that a combined momentum and trend following a global REIT strategy can be beneficial for both a dedicated
REIT portfolio and adding REITs to a multi-asset portfolio.