Are REITs A Good Investment In Canada?

WP explains what a real estate investment trust (REIT) is, its benefits and drawbacks, and if it’s the perfect financial instrument for you.

Are Canadian REITs good investments?

With the real estate market in many regions of the country exploding, many millennials and Generation Zers are unable to purchase a home. However, there are alternative options for real estate investment, such as REIT stock.

It’s a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT), which owns and/or operates income-producing properties like shopping malls, hotels, apartments, and office buildings. The majority, if not all, of the net income received by REITs is distributed to unitholders.

REITs are therefore appealing to yield-hungry investors, particularly in a low-interest-rate environment where high-interest savings accounts, GICs, and bond yields pay next to nothing. It’s an excellent approach to expand your portfolio without taking significant risks.

Continue reading for an in-depth look at REIT investing, including whether they’re a good investment, the benefits and drawbacks, and how to invest in REITs in Canada.

Is REIT a good investment in 2021?

Three primary causes, in my opinion, are driving investor cash toward REITs.

The S&P 500 yields a pitiful 1.37 percent, which is near to its all-time low. Even corporate bonds have been bid up to the point that they now yield a poor return compared to the risk they pose.

REITs are the last resort for investors looking for a decent yield, and demographics support greater yield-seeking behavior. As people near retirement, they typically begin to desire dividend income, and the same silver tsunami that is expected to raise healthcare demand is also expected to increase dividend demand.

The REIT index’s 2.72 percent yield isn’t as high as it once was, but it’s still far better than the alternatives. A considerably greater dividend yield can be obtained by being choosy about the REITs one purchases, and higher yielding REITs have outperformed in 2021.

Can you lose all your money in REITs?

  • REITs (real estate investment trusts) are common financial entities that pay dividends to their shareholders.
  • One disadvantage of non-traded REITs (those that aren’t traded on a stock exchange) is that investors may find it difficult to investigate them.
  • Investors find it difficult to sell non-traded REITs because they have low liquidity.
  • When interest rates rise, investment capital often flows into bonds, putting publically traded REITs at danger of losing value.

Are REIT a good investment now?

The best real estate investment trusts (REITs) are those that can provide investors with market-beating total returns, which are made up of dividend yield and stock price gain as their market capitalization rises. To achieve those gains, a REIT must be able to boost its dividend by growing the income generated by its real estate assets. An income investor can buy three top REITs with outsized upside potential this month.

What is the best Canadian REIT ETF?

IShares was founded in October 2002, and it is not just one of the country’s oldest REIT ETFs, but also one of the largest. BlackRock, a worldwide investment management organization, established and manages the ETF. It is the world’s largest provider of exchange-traded funds (ETFs). It has had incredible growth since its beginning, with only two major “downs” in its existence. One was during the previous recession, and the fund has yet to recoup from the present drop in valuation.

Unlike the previous two ETFs, retail is the most heavily populated sector in IShares, accounting for about 30% of the fund, followed by residential REITs at 29%. Industrial REITs account for 17% of the remaining 30%, followed by office and diversified REITs (10 percent each). The securities are likewise not dispersed evenly. The top five securities account for over half of the fund’s value. Canadian Apartment REIT has the largest stake (15.5 percent), followed by Riocan, Allied Properties, Granite, and Choice Properties REITs.

The fund, in addition to having a high dividend yield, has also demonstrated some growth in the past. When it comes to price increases, it’s practically on par with the previous two ETFs. The charge is minimal, and if you put a significant amount in this fund, you can begin to earn a passive income from dividends alone. Alternatively, you can reinvest your dividends and benefit from capital growth.

Why REITs are bad investments?

Real estate investment trusts (REITs) are not for everyone. This is the section for you if you’re wondering why REITs are a bad investment for you.

The major disadvantage of REITs is that they don’t provide much in the way of capital appreciation. This is because REITs must return 90 percent of their taxable income to investors, limiting their capacity to reinvest in properties to increase their value or acquire new holdings.

Another disadvantage is that REITs have very expensive management and transaction costs due to their structure.

REITs have also become increasingly connected with the larger stock market over time. As a result, one of the previous advantages has faded in value as your portfolio becomes more vulnerable to market fluctuations.

What are the safest REITs?

These three REITs are unlikely to appeal to investors with a value inclination. When things are uncertain, though, it is generally wise to stick with the biggest and most powerful names. Within the REIT industry, Realty Income, AvalonBay, and Prologis all fall more generally into that category, as well as within their specific property specialties.

These REITs are likely to have the capital access they need to outperform at the company level in both good and bad times. This capacity should help them expand their leadership positions and back consistent profits over time. That’s the kind of investment that will allow you to sleep comfortably at night, which is probably a cost worth paying for conservative sorts.

How much should you invest in REITs?

Private REITs, while they have many of the characteristics of a REIT, do not trade on a stock exchange and are not registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission in the United States (SEC). They aren’t required to give the same level of information to investors as a publicly traded firm because they aren’t registered. Institutional investors, such as major pension funds and accredited investors (those with a net worth of more than $1 million or an annual income of more than $200,000), are typically the only ones who buy private REITs.

According to NAREIT, the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts, private REITs may have an investment minimum ranging from $1,000 to $25,000 per unit.

Risk: Because private REITs are generally illiquid, getting your money when you need it can be challenging. Second, private REITs are exempt from corporate governance policies because they are not registered. That implies the management team can act in ways that demonstrate a conflict of interest with little to no oversight.

Last but not least, many private REITs are managed externally, which means they have a management that is paid to administer the REIT. External managers’ compensation is frequently based on the amount of money they manage, which presents a conflict of interest. The manager may be motivated to do things that increase his or her fees rather than what is best for you as an investment.

Non-traded REITs

Non-traded REITs are in the middle: they’re registered with the SEC like publicly listed firms, but they don’t trade on major exchanges like private REITs. This type of REIT is required to provide quarterly and year-end financial reports by law, and the filings are open to the public. Public non-listed REITs are another name for non-traded REITs.

Risk: Non-traded REITs can have high management costs, and they’re generally managed externally, similar to private REITs, posing a conflict of interest with your investment.

Furthermore, non-traded REITs, like private REITs, are typically relatively illiquid, making it difficult to get your money back if you suddenly need it. (Here are a few more points to keep in mind while investing in non-traded REITs.)

Publicly traded REIT stocks

This type of REIT is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and trades on major stock markets, giving public investors the highest potential to profit from individual investments. Due to the nature of public corporations being subject to disclosure and investor supervision, publicly listed REITs are generally considered preferable to private and non-traded REITs in terms of management expenses and corporate governance.

Risk: REIT stock prices can fall, just like any other stock, especially if their specialized sub-sector falls out of favor, and sometimes for no apparent reason. There are also many of the hazards associated with investing in individual equities, such as poor management, poor business decisions, and large debt loads, the latter of which is particularly prevalent in REITs. (For more information on how to buy stocks, click here.)

Publicly traded REIT funds

A publicly listed REIT fund combines the benefits of publicly traded REITs with the added security of a mutual fund. REIT funds often provide exposure to the entire public REIT world, allowing you to buy one fund and own a stake in roughly 200 publicly traded REITs. Residential, commercial, lodging, towers, and other REIT sub-sectors are all represented in these funds.

Investors can benefit from the REIT model without the risk of individual stocks by purchasing a fund. As a result, they benefit from diversification’s ability to reduce risk while enhancing profits. Many investors like funds because they are safer, especially if they are new to investing.

Risk: While REIT funds largely mitigate the risk of a single firm, they do not eliminate dangers that are common to REITs as a whole. For REITs, rising interest rates, for example, raise the cost of borrowing. And if investors conclude that REITs are unsafe and would not pay such high prices for them, many of the sector’s equities could fall. In other words, unlike an S&P 500 index fund, a REIT fund is tightly diversified across industries.

REIT preferred stock

Preferred stock is a unique type of stock that works much like a bond rather than a stock. A preferred stock, like a bond, provides a regular cash dividend and has a fixed par value that can be redeemed. Preferred stock, like bonds, will fluctuate in response to interest rates, with higher rates resulting in a lower price and vice versa.

Preferred stock, on the other hand, does not receive a share of the company’s continuous profits, so it is unlikely to rise in value beyond the price at which it was issued. Unless the preferred stock was purchased at a discount to par value, an investor’s annual return is expected to be the dividend value. In contrast to a traditional REIT, where the stock can continue to appreciate over time, this is a big deal.

Risk: Preferred stock is less volatile than common stock, which means its value will not fluctuate as much as a common stock’s. However, if interest rates rise much, preferred stock, like bonds, will likely suffer.

Preferred stock is positioned above common stock (but below bonds) in the capital structure, requiring it to pay dividends before common stock, but only after the company’s bonds have been paid their interest. Preferred stock is often regarded as riskier than bonds, but less hazardous than common equities, due to its structure.

How much of my portfolio should be in REITs?

Despite the fact that REITs trade on major stock exchanges, many financial planners (including myself) consider real estate to be a separate asset class from stocks and bonds. As a general guideline, allocating 5 percent to 10% of your assets to REITs is an excellent approach to diversify your exposure and/or improve your portfolio’s dividend income.

Of course, this is just a starting point; in some cases, the optimum answer for you may be substantially higher. REITs, for example, account for around 30% of my stock portfolio. It’s wise to invest in what you know, as many prominent investors have said. Real estate is the sector in which I am most comfortable appraising, thus it accounts for the majority of my portfolio’s allocation.

For income-seeking investors, REITs could be a solid choice for more than 10% of a stock portfolio. Let’s face it: today’s bond and other fixed-income investment yields aren’t exactly stellar. However, there are a slew of REITs with dividend yields in the 3% to 4% range that are completely sustainable. As a result, a retiree or other income-oriented investor might benefit from a bigger REIT investment.

Weak Growth

REITs that are publicly listed are required to pay out 90% of their profits in dividends to shareholders right away. This leaves little money to expand the portfolio by purchasing additional properties, which is what drives appreciation.

Private REITs are a good option if you enjoy the idea of REITs but want to get more than just dividends.

No Control Over Returns or Performance

Investors in direct real estate have a lot of control over their profits. They can identify properties with high cash flow, actively promote vacant rentals to renters, properly screen all applications, and use other property management best practices.

Investors in REITs, on the other hand, can only sell their shares if they are unhappy with the company’s performance. Some private REITs won’t even be able to do that, at least for the first several years.

Yield Taxed as Regular Income

Dividends are taxed at the (higher) regular income tax rate, despite the fact that profits on investments held longer than a year are taxed at the lower capital gains tax rate.

And because REITs provide a large portion of their returns in the form of dividends, investors may face a greater tax bill than they would with more appreciation-oriented assets.

Potential for High Risk and Fees

Just because an investment is regulated by the SEC does not mean it is low-risk. Before investing, do your homework and think about all aspects of the real estate market, including property valuations, interest rates, debt, geography, and changing tax regulations.

Fees should also be factored into the due diligence process. High management and transaction fees are charged by some REITs, resulting in smaller returns to shareholders. Those fees are frequently buried in the fine print of investment offerings, so be prepared to dig through the fine print to find out what they pay themselves for property management, acquisition fees, and so on.

What are REITs Canada?

REITs are trusts that hold real estate assets in a passive manner. A declaration of trust governs REIT and is used to establish it. The REIT’s Trustees have legal title to the trust property and manage it on behalf of the REIT’s unitholders.

Do REITs pay dividends?

A REIT is a security that invests directly in real estate and/or mortgages, comparable to a mutual fund. Mortgage REITs engage in portfolios of mortgages or mortgage-backed securities, whereas equity REITs invest mostly in commercial assets such as shopping malls, hotel hotels, and office buildings (MBSs). A hybrid REIT is a fund that invests in both. REIT shares are easy to buy and sell because they are traded on the open market.

All REITs have one thing in common: they pay dividends made up of rental income and capital gains. REITs must pay out at least 90% of their net earnings as dividends to shareholders in order to qualify as securities. REITs are given special tax treatment as a result of this; unlike a traditional business, they do not pay corporate taxes on the earnings they distribute. Regardless of whether the share price rises or falls, REITs must maintain a 90 percent payment.