BOSTON (TheStreet) -- Compelling demographics, including "echo boomers" leaving the nest, and a still-struggling single-family housing market are pushing rents higher for real estate investment trusts (REITs) focused on apartment buildings.The appeal of REITs isn't just their share-price appreciation potential, but their high dividends, which make them attractive for yield hounds. For example, apartment REIT Essex Property Trust (ESS - Get Report) is up 12% this year and 40% over the past three years, on average, and currently yields 2.82%. The S&P 500 is up 9.6% this year.
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