As that table shows, each of the major REIT subgroups has outpaced the S&P 500 since NAREIT began tracking its results.
Self-storage REITs stand out as they've beaten all other subgroups by a wide margin since 1994. These REITs also outperformed the market over the last 10 years (16.7% vs. 14.2% for the S&P 500). However, the group has lagged in more recent years (10.6% over the previous five years and 13.7% in 2019).
Driving the subsector's longer-term outperformance is that self-storage properties tend to have low construction and operating costs, making most units profitable at lower occupancy rates. On top of that, most leases are month to month, enabling self-storage owners to more quickly increase prices to reflect current market rates. Meanwhile, the more recent underperformance is primarily due to overcapacity as investors built more units than the market needed because of the sector's above-average long-term returns.
Another standout REIT subsector has been industrial, which has handily beaten the S&P 500 since 1994. It has also outperformed the market during the last five years (20% vs. 12.5% for the S&P) and 2019 (48.7% vs. 31.5%). Meanwhile, it has narrowly trailed the market over the past 10 years (14.1% vs. 14.2%).
Driving the subsector's strong results, especially more recently, has been the rise in e-commerce. With more people shopping online, industrial REITs, especially those focused on logistics properties, have expanded rapidly by developing new distribution centers to support this growth.
Meanwhile, as noted earlier, NAREIT has added four property types to its tracking in recent years. Here's how these newer subsectors have performed versus stocks since their inception: