Basics of Real Estate Investment Trust(REIT)
- Monday 31st May 2021
- Author: Riya Kapoor
A real estate investment trust (“REIT”) is a company that owns, operates or finances income-producing real estate.
REITs, or real estate investment trusts, are companies that own or finance income-producing real estate across a range of property sectors.
A real estate investment trust (“REIT”) is a company that owns, operates, or finances income-producing real estate. REITs provide all investors the chance to own valuable real estate, present the opportunity to access dividend-based income and total returns, and help communities grow, thrive, and revitalize.
REITs, or real estate investment trusts, are companies that own or finance income-producing real estate across a range of property sectors. These real estate companies have to meet a number of requirements to qualify as REITs. Most REITs trade on major stock exchanges, and they offer a number of benefits to investors.
REITs invest in a wide scope of real estate property types, including offices, apartment buildings, warehouses, retail centers, medical facilities, data centers, cell towers, infrastructure, and hotels. Most REITs focus on a particular property type, but some hold multiple types of properties in their portfolios.
Most REITs have a straightforward business model: The REIT leases space and collects rents on the properties, then distributes that income as dividends to shareholders. Mortgage REITs don’t own real estate but finance real estate, instead. These REITs earn income from the interest on their investments.
Types of REITs
There are three types of REITs:
- Equity REITs. Most REITs are equity REITs, which own and manage income-producing real estate. Revenues are generated primarily through rents (not by reselling properties).
- Mortgage REITs. Mortgage REITs lend money to real estate owners and operators either directly through mortgages and loans, or indirectly through the acquisition of mortgage-backed securities. Their earnings are generated primarily by the net interest margin—the spread between the interest they earn on mortgage loans and the cost of funding these loans. This model makes them potentially sensitive to interest rate increases.
- Hybrid REITs. These REITs use the investment strategies of both equity and mortgage REITs.
REITs can be further classified based on how their shares are bought and held:
- Publicly Traded REITs. Shares of publicly traded REITs are listed on a national securities exchange, where they are bought and sold by individual investors. They are regulated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
- Public Non-Traded REITs. These REITs are also registered with the SEC but don’t trade on national securities exchanges. As a result, they are less liquid than publicly traded REITs. Still, they tend to be more stable because they’re not subject to market fluctuations.
- Private REITs. These REITs aren’t registered with the SEC and don’t trade on national securities exchanges. In general, private REITs can be sold only to institutional investors
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