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Play Foreign Real Estate With ETFs

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Another ETF in the mix is the SPDR Dow Jones Wilshire International Real Estate (RWX) ETF. Because this fund is weighted by market cap, it looks a little different. Australia still figures prominently, with 19.79% of the fund's weight (and again Westfield is the largest stock with 6.66%), but Japan is a touch larger at 20.11%, and the U.K. plays a bigger role in RWX at 16.35%.

The yield on RWX is likely to be 2.05% (the yield of the index less the 0.60% expense), which is obviously less than DRW, but the trade-off might be better country diversification.

Recently listed is the Alpine Global Premier Properties Fund (AWP), a closed-end fund. Because the fund is brand-new, there's no information on its holdings, but lead manager Sam Lieber was recently on CNBC and mentioned a couple of stocks he liked, including Norwegian Properties and Orient-Express Hotels (OEH), so it's possible that they are in the fund.

Alpine also has an open-end fund that could be a template for AWP -- the Alpine (EGLRX) fund (EGLRX).

AWP has set the dates and amounts for its first few monthly dividends, and the fund yields 7.60%. According to the prospectus, the fund can use leverage and options but does not plan to.

I have to wonder whether the first few payouts represent the returning of some capital. I was not able to get an answer from the fund -- they are not required to give these details until the end of the year.

Also contributing to the yield -- again, I think it will take a while before this kicks in -- is that one-third of the fund will use a dividend-capture strategy within the international real estate space. As a quick reminder, dividend capture means holding a stock just long enough to get the dividend at the qualified tax rate, and then rotating to a similar stock to capture that dividend, and then going back to the first stock, and so on.
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OEH $10.88 0.65%
AWP $5.69 -0.35%
DRW $27.71 0.00%
RWX $42.35 0.00%
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