SIGNS OF RECOVERY IN REAL ESTATE

THERE was much for investors to worry about in the second quarter, but at least real estate was far down the list. Several reports hinted at a recovery in this long-suffering category, and that helped real estate investment trusts — portfolios of various types of property, and traded on stock exchanges — to outperform, along with funds that focus on them.

Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times

The Empire State Building in Manhattan is part of the ESB Trust.

Suzanne DeChillo/The New York Times

Vornado Realty Trust is the owner of the One Penn Plaza office tower, near Madison Square Garden in Manhattan.

The latest report of the National Association of Realtors showed a 9.6 percent increase in sales of previously owned single-family homes in the 12 months through May and a 7.9 percent rise in prices. New-home sales rose 19.8 percent over the same period, according to Census Bureau data, and prices rose 5.6 percent.

Commercial property has been on an upswing, too. The most recent reading of an industry benchmark, the CoStar Commercial Repeat Sale Value-Weighted U.S. Composite Index, was 6.5 percent higher in April than it was a year earlier.

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