At this time, retail and office space are likely underperforming. If these sectors are a large part of the index covered by XRE, then they will drag that ETF down. ZRE not so much because of the lower exposure because of it equal weight structure.I am bullish on the REIT space as well. I was looking at the top options for this and the final battle was between ZRE and XRE.
What I noticed was that the fees are equal for both at 0.61%.
However ZRE has outperformed its competitor by 2.6% annualized for the past 5 years period, that's a cumulative 13%. After looking into it, guess what - the BMO one is an equal weight, which is a bit of both worlds between pure passive exposure and a little bit of active, keeping limits to different subsectors within the REIT space, which translates into its outperformance. XRE is pure passive market cap index.
If retail and office were on an upswing, then XRE would likely perform better. With either one, like most index based etfs, you get the bad with the good. Might be better to choose a few individual REITs? But only if you really think REITs are a better choice than other options.