One advantage of investing in physical properties is the potential for significant cash flow, as well as the option to offset that income with a variety of tax benefits. You can deduct the ordinary and necessary costs of managing, conserving, and maintaining the property, for example. Another significant tax relief is depreciation, which allows you to deduct the costs of purchasing and renovating a property over the course of its useful life (and lower your taxable income in the process).
Of course, there’s also the possibility of a price increase. While the real estate market swings like the stock market, property values tend to rise with time, so you might be able to sell at a higher price later.
Another advantage of direct real estate over REITs is that you have more control over decision-making. You can, for example, limit your search to listings that meet your criteria for area, property type, and finance. You have complete control over rental rates, tenant selection, and the number of homes you purchase. When interest rates decline, you can refinance your mortgage or use your home equity to fund loans or credit lines for other uses.
Why REITs are a bad idea?
Because no investment is flawless, you should be aware of the possible negatives of REITs before incorporating them into your portfolio.
- Dividend taxation: REITs pay out higher-than-average dividends and aren’t subject to corporate taxation. The disadvantage is that REIT payouts don’t always qualify as “qualified dividends,” which are taxed at a lower rate than ordinary income.
- Interest rate sensitivity: Because rising interest rates are detrimental for REIT stock values, REITs can be extremely sensitive to interest rate movements. When the rates on risk-free investments like Treasury securities rise, the returns on other income-based investments rise as well. The yield on the 10-year Treasury is an excellent REIT indication.
- Real estate investment trusts (REITs) can help diversify your portfolio, but most REITs aren’t highly diversified. They tend to concentrate on a single property type, each with its own set of dangers. Hotel REITs, for example, are extremely vulnerable to economic downturns and other factors. If you decide to invest in REITs, it’s a good idea to pick a few with varying degrees of economic sensitivity.
- Fees and markups: While REITs provide liquidity, trading in and out of them comes at a significant price. The majority of a REIT’s fees are paid up front. They can account for 20% to 30% of the REIT’s total worth. This consumes a significant portion of your prospective profit.
REITs pay out higher-than-average dividends and aren’t subject to corporate taxes. The drawback is that REIT earnings don’t always qualify as “qualified dividends,” which are taxed at a lower rate than ordinary income.
REITs qualified for the new 20% pass-through deduction introduced by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act because they are pass-through investment vehicles. REIT dividends, on the other hand, are normally taxed at a higher rate than eligible dividends. If you own REITs through a traditional (taxable) brokerage account, keep this in mind.
Interest rate sensitivity
Interest rate swings can make REITs extremely vulnerable. The most important aspect to remember is that rising interest rates are detrimental for REIT stock values. When a general rule, as the yields on risk-free investments like Treasury securities grow, so do the yields on other income-based investments. The 10-year Treasury yield is a good indication of REIT performance.
Because price and yield are inversely proportional, higher yields imply lower prices. REIT prices and Treasury rates generally move in opposite directions, as shown in the chart below:
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.
Are REITs safe during a recession?
It’s crucial to remember that nothing can fully protect you against a recession. Any venture has weaknesses and hazards, and each economic downturn presents new obstacles.
While no recession is the same as the last, there are some real estate sectors that are more robust during a downturn. Real estate investments that meet people’s basic requirements, such as housing and agriculture, or that provide important services for economic activity, such as data processing, wireless communications, industrial processing and storage, or medical facilities, are more likely to weather the storm.
Investors can own and manage properties in any of the asset classes, but many prefer to invest in real estate investment trusts (REITs) (REIT). REITs can be a more affordable and accessible method for investors to enter into real estate while also obtaining access to institutional-quality investments in a diversified portfolio.
We live in a data-driven technology era. Almost everything we do now requires data storage or processing, and the demand for data centers will only grow in the next decades as more technological or data-driven gadgets are released. During recessions, more people stay at home to watch TV, use their computers or smartphones, or, in the case of the recent coronavirus outbreak, work from home, increasing the need on data centers. According to the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts, there are currently five data center REITs to select from, with all five up 33.73 percent year to date (NAREIT).
Self-storage is widely regarded as a recession-proof asset type. As budgets tighten, some families downsize, relocating to other places to better their quality of life or pursue a new work opportunity, or downsizing by moving in with each other to save money. This indicates that there is a higher need for storage.
The COVID-19 pandemic, on the other hand, has had an unforeseen influence on the storage industry. While occupancy has remained high, eviction moratoriums and increasing cleaning and safety costs have resulted in lower revenues. According to NAREIT, self-storage REITs are down 3.51 percent year to date. However, this industry is expected to recover swiftly, particularly for companies like Public Storage (NYSE: PSA), the largest publicly traded self-storage REIT, which has a strong credit rating and a diverse portfolio.
Warehouse and distribution
E-commerce has altered the way our economy works. Demand for quality warehousing and distribution centers has soared as more consumers purchase from home than ever before. Oversupply of industrial space, particularly warehouse and distribution space, is a risk, given that this sector has been steadily growing for the past decade; however, as a result of COVID-19, it has already proven to be the most resilient asset class of all commercial real estate, making it an excellent choice for a recession-resistant investment. Prologis (NYSE: PLD), one of the major warehousing and logistics REITS, and Americold Realty Trust (NYSE: COLD), a REIT that specializes in cold storage facilities, have both proven to be quite durable in the present economic situation, with plenty of space for expansion.
People will always require housing. Residential housing, which can range from single-family homes to high-rise flats or retirement communities, fulfills a basic need that is necessary even in difficult economic times. During economic downturns, rents may stagnate and evictions or foreclosures may increase, but residential rentals are a relatively reliable and constant source of income. Despite the COVID-19 challenges, American Homes 4 Rent (NYSE: AMH), which specializes in single-family rental housing, and Equity Residential (NYSE: EQR), which specializes in urban high-rises in high-density areas, are two of the largest players in residential housing, both of which have maintained high occupancy and collection rates.
Aside from housing, agriculture and food production are two additional critical services on which our country and the rest of the world rely. Our existing food system is primarily reliant on industrial agriculture, but more and more autonomous and regenerative agricultural projects are springing up, allowing for more crop diversification, increased productivity, and reduced economic and environmental risk.
Wireless communication has grown into a giant sector, with American Tower (NYSE: AMT) and Crown Castle International (NYSE: CCI) being two of the world’s largest REITs. Cell tower REITs that provide telecommunication services are an important part of our world today, and while growth prospects can be difficult to come by, very good track records and rising demand make this a terrific real estate investment that will weather any economic downturn.
Medical facilities, senior housing, hospitals, urgent care clinics, and surgery centers all provide a vital service that will always be in demand, even during economic downturns.
Before you abandon ship when you see this category, let me state unequivocally that retail is not dead, at least not in all forms. Grocery stores and other retail outlets that provide critical services and products will continue to be in demand, as they did during the last pandemic. The issue here is for retail REITs to invest in the vital service sector with such focus that other sectors such as tourism, restaurants, or general shopping and goods do not put the company or investment at risk.
Can you get rich investing in REITs?
There is no such thing as a guaranteed get-rich-quick strategy when it comes to real estate equities (or pretty much any other sort of investment). Sure, some real estate investment trusts (REITs) could double in value by 2021, but they could also swing in the opposite direction.
However, there is a proven way to earn rich slowly by investing in REITs. Purchase REITs that are meant to grow and compound your money over time, then sit back and let them handle the heavy lifting. Realty Income (NYSE: O), Digital Realty Trust (NYSE: DLR), and Vanguard Real Estate ETF are three REIT stocks in particular that are about the closest things you’ll find to guaranteed ways to make rich over time (NYSEMKT: VNQ).
Are REITs good long-term investments?
REITs are investments that provide a total return. They usually provide significant dividends and have a moderate chance of long-term financial appreciation. REIT stocks have long-term total returns that are comparable to value equities and higher than lower-risk bonds.
Do REIT dividends count as income?
Dividend payments are assigned to ordinary income, capital gains, and return of capital for tax reasons for REITs, each of which may be taxed at a different rate. Early in the year, all public firms, including REITs, must furnish shareholders with information indicating how the prior year’s dividends should be allocated for tax purposes. The Industry Data section contains a historical record of the allocation of REIT distributions between regular income, return of capital, and capital gains.
The majority of REIT dividends are taxed as ordinary income up to a maximum rate of 37% (returning to 39.6% in 2026), plus a 3.8 percent surtax on investment income. Through December 31, 2025, taxpayers can deduct 20% of their combined qualifying business income, which includes Qualified REIT Dividends. When the 20% deduction is taken into account, the highest effective tax rate on Qualified REIT Dividends is normally 29.6%.
REIT dividends, on the other hand, will be taxed at a lower rate in the following situations:
- When a REIT makes a capital gains distribution (tax rate of up to 20% plus a 3.8 percent surtax) or a return of capital dividend (tax rate of up to 20% plus a 3.8 percent surtax);
- When a REIT distributes dividends received from a taxable REIT subsidiary or other corporation (20% maximum tax rate plus 3.8 percent surtax); and when a REIT distributes dividends received from a taxable REIT subsidiary or other corporation (20% maximum tax rate plus 3.8 percent surtax); and when a REIT distributes dividends received from
- When allowed, a REIT pays corporation taxes and keeps the profits (20 percent maximum tax rate, plus the 3.8 percent surtax).
Furthermore, the maximum capital gains rate of 20% (plus the 3.8 percent surtax) applies to the sale of REIT stock in general.
The withholding tax rate on REIT ordinary dividends paid to non-US investors is depicted in this graph.
Are REITs considered fixed income?
REITs are a type of investment that should continue to outperform bonds in terms of total returns while also paying out larger amounts of current income over time. Bonds are a low-risk fixed-income instrument because of their favored position in the capital stack.
Which REITs pay the highest dividend?
For income investors, the beauty of REITs is that they are obligated to release 90% of their taxable income to shareholders in the form of dividends each year. REITs often do not pay corporate taxes in exchange.
As a result, several of the 171 dividend-paying REITs we follow have dividend yields of 5% or more.
Bonus: Watch the video below to hear our chat with Brad Thomas on The Sure Investing Podcast about sensible REIT investing.
However, not all high-yielding stocks are a sure bet. To ensure that the high yields are sustainable, investors should carefully examine the fundamentals. This post will go through ten of the highest-yielding REITs on the market with market capitalizations over $1 billion.
While the securities discussed in this article have exceptionally high yields, a high yield on its own does not guarantee a good investment. Dividend security, valuation, management, balance sheet health, and growth are all critical considerations.
We advise investors to take the research below as a guide, but to conduct extensive due diligence before investing in any security, particularly high-yield securities. Many (but not all) high yield securities are at risk of having their dividends cut and/or their business outcomes deteriorate.
High-Yield REIT No. 10: Omega Healthcare Investors (OHI)
Omega Healthcare Investors is one of the most well-known healthcare REITs that focuses on skilled nursing. Senior home complexes account for around 20% of the company’s annual income. The company’s financial, portfolio, and management strength are its three primary selling factors. Omega is the market leader in skilled nursing facilities.
High-Yield REIT No. 9: Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance (ARI)
In 2009, Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance, Inc. was established. It’s a debt-oriented real estate investment trust (REIT) that invests in senior mortgages, mezzanine loans, and other commercial real estate-related debt. The underlying real estate properties of Apollo’s investments in the United States and Europe serve as collateral.
Hotels, Office Properties, Urban Pre-development, Residential-for-sale inventory, and Residential-for-sale construction make up Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance’s multibillion-dollar commercial real estate portfolio. Manhattan, New York, the United Kingdom, and the rest of the United States make up the company’s portfolio.
High-Yield REIT No. 8: PennyMac Mortgage Investment Trust (PMT)
PennyMac Mortgage Investment Trust is a real estate investment trust (REIT) that invests in residential mortgage loans and related assets. PMT