When Congress is giving away money, get in line.

That philosophy heavily benefited the real estate sector in the past few trading sessions.

This week, a bill to ameliorate the real estate recession made progress in the Senate. The aim is to slow the pace of foreclosures and forestall bankruptcies among homebuilders.

For property owners at risk of losing their home, $10 billion would be made available for refinancing. Also, the

Federal Housing Administration

loan limit would be adjusted upward to $550,000. To convince potential home buyers not to wait for lower prices, $7,000 tax credits would be given for buying foreclosed properties.

Another incentive to own instead of rent would be a $500 single or $1,000 joint-filing standard tax deduction for property-tax payers. To reduce the over-supply of foreclosed homes for sale, $4 billion may be granted to buy and maintain these properties.

As much as $6 billion in bailout cash would go to homebuilders. These companies would be allowed to "carry-back" current losses against the prior four years of profits. Previous taxes paid could be refunded.

The average real estate fund we track climbed 6.25% in the five trading days ending April 3.

Topping the best-performer list is the

Ultra Real Estate ProShares

(URE) - Get Report

, 200% positively leveraged to the Dow Jones U.S. Real Estate Index. The nearly 90% concentration of REITs in this fund rallied on the potential bailout plan.

In second place is a closed-end fund that pays monthly dividends toward its objective of high current income from holding REIT securities. The

Dividend Capital Realty Income Allocation Fund

(DCA)

gained 12.50% for the period.

The next three spots are all held by the homebuilders, whose Washington lobbyists are proving to be worth every penny spent.

iShares Dow Jones US Home Construction Index Fund

(ITB) - Get Report

, up 12.36%,

SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF

(XHB) - Get Report

, up 11.98%, and the

FocusShares ISE Homebuilders Index Fund

( SAW), up 11.07%, all shared in the celebration.

The homebuilder stocks themselves also fared well:

Beazer Homes USA

(BZH) - Get Report

popped 26.56%,

Standard Pacific

(SPF)

jumped 23.42%,

Lennar

(LEN) - Get Report

added 21.40% and

Meritage Homes

(MTH) - Get Report

advanced 20.98%.

Best Performing Real Estate FundsRanked by returns for the week ending April 3

Fund

Ticker

Rating

Fund Type

1 Week Total Return

Ultra Real Estate ProShares

URE

E-

ETF

14.06%

Dividend Capital Realty Income Allocation Fund

DCA

E-

Closed-End

12.50%

iShares Dow Jones US Home Construction Index Fund

ITB

E-

ETF

12.36%

SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF

XHB

E-

ETF

11.98%

FocusShares ISE Homebuilders Index Fund

SAW

U

ETF

11.07%

Claymore/AlphaShares China Real Estate ETF

TAO

U

ETF

11.05%

ProFunds Real Estate UltraSector ProFund

REPSX

E-

Open-End

10.45%

RMR Asia Pacific Real Estate Fund

RAP

E-

Closed-End

10.25%

iShares FTSE EPRA/NAREIT Asia Index Fund

IFAS

U

ETF

8.98%

Cohen & Steers Worldwide Realty Income Fund Inc

RWF

E-

Closed-End

8.36%

Source: Bloomberg. For an explanation of our ratings, click here

.

The only two real estate funds to fall this week were the inverse funds shorting the stocks of the Dow Jones U.S. Real Estate Index. The 200% leveraged

UltraShort Real Estate ProShares

(SRS) - Get Report

lost twice as much value as the unleveraged

ProFunds Short Real Estate ProFund

(SRPIX) - Get Report

.

Worst-Performing Real Estate FundsRanked by returns for the week ending April 3

Fund

Ticker

Rating

Fund Type

1 Week Total Return

UltraShort Real Estate ProShares

SRS

C

ETF

-13.44%

ProFunds Short Real Estate ProFund

SRPIX

U

Open-End

-6.81%

Adelante Shares RE Growth Exchange-Traded Fund

AGV

U

ETF

0.86%

iShares FTSE EPRA/NAREIT Europe Index Fund

IFEU

U

ETF

1.02%

Fidelity Real Estate Income Fund

FRIFX

D+

Open-End

1.14%

Cohen & Steers Total Return Realty Fund Inc

RFI

C-

Closed-End

1.39%

Adelante Shares RE Shelter Exchange-Traded Fund

AQS

U

ETF

1.53%

Cohen & Steers European Realty Shares Inc

EURAX

U

Open-End

1.75%

ING European Real Estate Fund

IAERX

U

Open-End

2.02%

Adelante Shares RE Value Exchange-Traded Fund

AVU

U

ETF

2.13%

Source: Bloomberg. For an explanation of our ratings, click here

.

While the extension of a Congressional olive branch to homeowners and real estate companies mired in quicksand could benefit many people, the attention reveals the extent of the sector woes. Any gain in securities based on potential legislation can just as easily be reversed if the bill gets hung up. Caution is still warranted.

Kevin Baker became the senior financial analyst for TSC Ratings upon the August 2006 acquisition of Weiss Ratings by TheStreet.com, covering mutual funds. He joined the Weiss Group in 1997 as a banking and brokerage analyst. In 1999, he created the Weiss Group's first ratings to gauge the level of risk in U.S. equities. Baker received a B.S. degree in management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an M.B.A. with a finance specialization from Nova Southeastern University.