Will REITs Crash?

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.

Data centers

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.

Residential housing

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

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

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.

Retail centers

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.

Are REITs safe in a market crash?

Parts of the real estate industry may provide some protection against economic downturns. Even though the economy is still growing, the recovery from the pandemic is slowing, with investors worried about inflation risks and the chronic delta version of the coronavirus eroding and possibly reversing that progress. If cautious investors take defensive positions before economic cycles alter, they can be ahead of the game. Income-generating real estate investment trusts, which buy property, collect rent, and distribute at least 90% of their taxable income to shareholders, can be a good defensive investment. REITs are an excellent gauge for how REITs are performing since they produce consistent income through dividend payouts, which boost investment returns. Because their values are unlikely to experience major fluctuations during an economic downturn, it’s best to concentrate on REITs in stable markets like storage, distribution, and data centers, as well as health care facilities. During more difficult economic circumstances, these seven REITs have the potential to offer favorable results.

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 REITs risky right now?

A real estate investment trust, or REIT, is considered a secure investment by the majority of investors. These businesses often generate consistent rental income, allowing them to pay out high dividends.

Not all REIT stocks, however, are safe investments. During market downturns, several companies have been forced to reduce or discontinue dividend payments due to a lack of financial flexibility. Some people have gotten themselves in such bad financial situations that they are struggling to make ends meet.

As a result, before purchasing REIT shares, an investor must carefully assess the REIT’s safety. Here are three excellent REITs to buy right now, as well as the characteristics of the safest REITs.

Are REITs a good buy now?

  • No corporation tax: A company must meet certain criteria in order to be classed as a REIT. It must, for example, invest at least three-quarters of its assets in real estate and pay shareholders at least 90% of its taxable income. If a REIT fits these criteria, it receives a significant tax benefit because it pays no corporate tax, regardless of how profitable it is. Profits from most dividend stocks are effectively taxed twice: once at the corporate level and then again at the individual level when dividends are paid.
  • High dividend yields: REITs offer above-average dividend yields because they must pay at least 90% of taxable revenue to shareholders. It could, for example, offer a secure dividend yield of 5% or more, but the typical S&P 500 company yields less than 2%. If you need income or wish to reinvest your dividends and compound your gains over time, a REIT can be a good solution.
  • Total return potential: As the value of its underlying assets rises, a REIT’s total return potential rises as well. Real estate values rise over time, and a REIT can grow its worth by employing a variety of tactics. It might either build properties from the ground up or sell valued assets and reinvest the proceeds. A REIT can be a good total return investment when this is combined with substantial dividends.
  • REITs were designed to provide average investors with access to commercial real estate assets that would otherwise be out of reach. Most people can’t afford to buy an office tower outright, but there are REITs that can.
  • Diversification of your financial portfolio: Most experts think that diversifying your investment portfolio is a smart idea. Despite the fact that REITs are technically stocks, real estate is a distinct asset class from stocks. During difficult economic times, REITs tend to keep their value better than equities, and they’re a terrific way to add stable, predictable income. These are only two examples of how an all-stock portfolio’s inherent risk can be mitigated.
  • Real estate transactions might take a long time to buy and sell, but REITs are a very liquid investment. A REIT can be bought or sold at any time. Because traded REITs can be purchased and sold like stocks, it’s simple to receive money when you need it.
  • Direct ownership and management of a property is a business that demands time and effort. REIT shareholders do not own the properties or mortgages in its portfolio, thus they do not have to deal with property maintenance or development, landlord services, or rent collection as a property owner or management would.

Why are REITs a bad investment?

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 does Dave Ramsey say about REITs?

Do you want to know more details? Here’s a rundown of some typical investment possibilities, as well as Dave’s thoughts on them—both positive and negative.

Mutual Funds

Mutual funds allow you to invest in a variety of businesses at simultaneously, ranging from the largest and most stable to the newest and fastest-growing. They have teams of managers who, depending on the fund type, select companies for the fund to invest in.

So, why does Dave propose this as the only investing option? Dave prefers mutual funds because they allow him to diversify his investment across a number of companies, avoiding the risks associated with single equities like Dogecoin. Mutual funds are an excellent alternative for long-term investing since they are actively managed by professionals who strive to identify stocks that will outperform the stock market.

Exchange-Traded Funds

ETFs are collections of single stocks that are designed to be traded on stock exchanges. ETFs do not employ teams of managers to select firms for investment, which keeps their fees cheap.

Because ETFs allow you to swap investments quickly and easily, many people try to play the market by buying cheap and selling high, but this is extremely difficult to do. Dave favors a buy-and-hold strategy, which entails holding on to investments over time and maintaining a long-term perspective rather than selling on the spur of the moment when the market falls.

Single Stocks

Your investment in a single stock is contingent on the performance of that firm.

Dave advises against buying single stocks since it’s like putting all your eggs in one basket, which is a large risk to take with money you’re dependent on for your future. If that company goes bankrupt, your savings will be lost as well. No, thank you!

Certificates of Deposit (CDs)

A certificate of deposit (CD) is a form of savings account that allows you to store money for a predetermined period of time at a fixed interest rate. Withdrawing money from a CD before its maturity date incurs a penalty from the bank.

CDs, like money market and savings accounts, have low interest rates that do not keep pace with inflation, which is why Dave advises against them. While CDs are helpful for putting money down for a short-term purpose, they aren’t suitable for long-term financial goals of more than five years.


Bonds are a type of debt instrument that allows firms or governments to borrow money from you. Your investment earns a predetermined rate of interest, and the company or government repays the debt when the bond matures (aka the date when they have to pay it back to you). Bonds, like stocks and mutual funds, rise and fall in value, although they have a reputation for being “safe” investments due to less market volatility.

However, when comparing investments over time, the bond market underperforms the stock market. Earning a set interest rate will protect you in poor years, but it will also prevent you from profiting in good years. The value of your bond decreases when interest rates rise.

Fixed Annuities

Fixed annuities are complicated plans issued by insurance firms that are designed to provide a guaranteed income in retirement for a specific period of years.

Dave doesn’t advocate annuities since they can be costly and come with penalties if you need to access your money during a set period of time. You might be wondering what a designated surrender period is. That’s the amount of time an investor must wait before being able to withdraw funds without incurring a penalty.

Variable Annuities (VAs)

VAs are insurance products that can provide a steady stream of income and a death payment (money paid to the beneficiary when the owner of the annuity passes away).

While VAs provide an additional tax-deferred retirement savings option for those who have already maxed out their 401(k) and IRA accounts, you lose a much of the growth potential that comes with mutual fund investing in the stock market. Furthermore, fees can be costly, and VAs impose surrender charges (a penalty price you must pay if you withdraw funds within the surrender period).

Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)

REITs are real estate investment trusts that own or finance real estate. REITs, like mutual funds, sell shares to investors who want to share in the profits generated by the company’s real estate holdings.

Dave enjoys real estate investing, but he prefers to invest in cash-flowing properties rather than REITs.

Cash Value or Whole Life Insurance

Whole life insurance, often known as cash value insurance, is more expensive than term life insurance but lasts your entire life. It’s a form of life insurance product that’s frequently promoted as a means to save money. That’s because insurance is also attempting to function as an investing account. When you get whole life insurance, a portion of your “investment” goes into a savings account within the policy.

Sure, it may appear to be a nice idea at first, but it is not. The kicker is that when the insured person dies, the beneficiary receives only the face value of the insurance and loses any money that was saved under it (yes, it’s pretty stupid).

Dave only advises term life insurance (life insurance that protects you for a specific length of time, such as 15–20 years) with coverage equivalent to 10–12 times your annual income. If something occurs to you, your salary will be compensated for your family. Don’t know how much insurance you’ll need? You can use our term life calculator to crunch the numbers.

Separate Account Managers (SAMs)

SAMs are third-party investment professionals who purchase and sell stocks or mutual funds on your behalf.

Simply say, “No thanks, Sam,” to this option. Dave chooses to put his money into mutual funds that have their own teams of competent fund managers with a track record of outperforming the market.

Are REITs a good investment Dave Ramsey?

Let’s get one thing out of the way right away: Mortgage REITs are a bad investment. They acquire debt with debt, and they’re so dangerous that you shouldn’t be within 50 miles of one. When interest rates rise, what happens? You have a financial loss. What happens if a homeowner defaults on their mortgage payments? A REIT is likely to be able to withstand the default of one or two homeowners. But what if we end up in a situation like the one that occurred in 2008, when millions of people lost their homes? Forget about it.

Mortgage REITs are a bad investment. They acquire debt with debt, and they’re so dangerous that you shouldn’t be within 50 miles of one.

Equity REITs are less hazardous, and there are a few that can match the performance of outstanding growth stock mutual funds. In general, however, if you’re going to invest in real estate, you should just purchase it. When you invest in a REIT, you have no say in the properties they buy, how they’re managed, or what decisions they make about those assets.

If you want to invest in real estate, you should just acquire it. When you invest in a REIT, you have no say in the properties they buy, how they’re managed, or what decisions they make about those assets.

It’s hardly rocket science or brain surgery to figure out that a REIT isn’t the ideal investing option for you.

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.

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.

How are REITs doing in 2021?

So far in 2021, the REIT sector has posted increases in every month, including a +1.77 percent average total return in May. In May, 58.24% of REIT securities had a positive total return. In May, hotels and student housing REITs outperformed all other property types, while corrections and health care REITs saw the biggest drops.