4 min read
By Beqa Bumbeishvili, ETF Insider


Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) have transformed the landscape of investing, allowing individuals to gain exposure to various sectors and asset classes without the need to purchase individual stocks or bonds. In this article, we will conduct an in-depth analysis and comparison of two prominent real estate ETFs: IYR (iShares U.S. Real Estate ETF) and ICF (iShares Cohen & Steers REIT ETF). By exploring their ETF tickers, full names, issuers, sectors, top holdings, capitalization, strategy, tracking methods, and exposure, we aim to provide investors with a comprehensive overview of these financial instruments.

IYR Vs ICF: Overview

IYR and ICF are both real estate-focused ETFs, but they offer distinct approaches to investing in the real estate sector. While IYR seeks to replicate the performance of the Dow Jones U.S. Real Estate Index, ICF aims to track the Cohen & Steers Realty Majors Index. These differing benchmarks result in variations in holdings and strategies, which we will delve into further.

IYR Vs ICF: Sectors and Top Holdings

The IYR ETF covers a wide range of real estate sectors, including residential, commercial, and industrial properties. Its top holdings include prominent real estate companies such as American Tower Corporation, Prologis Inc., and Simon Property Group. On the other hand, ICF focuses primarily on real estate investment trusts (REITs), with holdings in companies that own and manage various real estate assets, from office buildings to residential complexes.

IYR  overlap IYR VS ICFIYR overlap IYR VS ICF

IYR Vs ICF: Capitalization and Strategy

IYR and ICF differ in terms of their market capitalization and investment strategies. IYR boasts a substantial asset under management (AUM), reflecting its popularity among investors seeking exposure to the broader real estate market. ICF's strategy revolves around capturing the performance of large-cap real estate companies. The choice between these two ETFs may depend on an investor's preference for broad market exposure or a focus on larger real estate players.

IYR Vs ICF: Tracking Methods and Exposure

IYR tracks its benchmark index through a representative sampling strategy, which involves holding a subset of securities that collectively mirror the performance of the index. This approach helps IYR minimize transaction costs and tracking errors. On the other hand, ICF employs a full replication strategy, meaning it holds all the securities in its target index in the same proportions. These distinct tracking methods can lead to variations in performance and tracking accuracy.


In the realm of real estate investing, IYR and ICF provide investors with diverse options to gain exposure to this asset class. The choice between these two ETFs hinges on individual preferences, risk tolerance, and investment objectives. For those seeking to gain deeper insights into the holdings, correlations, overlaps, and other essential details of these ETFs, ETF Insider emerges as an invaluable tool. With its user-friendly app, it offers investors an in-depth look at these financial instruments, enabling informed decision-making.

Disclaimer: This article is intended for informational purposes only and does not provide investment advisory services. It's important to conduct thorough research and consult with financial professionals before making any investment decisions.

iShares: "IYR iShares U.S. Real Estate ETF." https://www.ishares.com/us/products/239518/ishares-us-real-estate-etf
iShares: "ICF iShares Cohen & Steers REIT ETF." https://www.ishares.com/us/products/239737/ishares-cohen-steers-reit-etf

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  • Why is IYR better than ICF?

    IYR may be considered better than ICF for some investors due to its specific focus, offering diversification.

  • Does ICF beat IYR?

    ICF's performance relative to IYR will vary over time, depending on market conditions.

  • Should I invest in IYR or ICF?

    The choice between IYR and ICF should align with your investment goals, risk tolerance, and desired exposure.

  • Are IYR and ICF good investments?

    Both IYR and ICF can be suitable investments depending on individual investment strategies, goals, and risk profiles.

  • What is the correlation between IYR and ICF?

    The correlation between IYR and ICF can vary over time, reflecting differences in performance.