What is a REIT?

REITs, or real estate investment trusts, are companies that own or finance income-producing real estate across a range of property sectors.What Is a REIT?

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.

A real estate investment trust (“REIT”) is a company that owns, operates or finances income-producing real estate. REITs provide an investment opportunity, like a mutual fund, that makes it possible for everyday Americans—not just Wall Street, banks, and hedge funds—to benefit from valuable real estate, present the opportunity to access dividend-based income and total returns, and help communities grow, thrive, and revitalize.

REITs allow anyone to invest in portfolios of real estate assets the same way they invest in other industries – through the purchase of individual company stock or through a mutual fund or exchange traded fund (ETF). The stockholders of a REIT earn a share of the income produced – without actually having to go out and buy, manage or finance property. Approximately 145 million Americans live in households invested in REITs through their 401(k), IRAs, pension plans, and other investment funds.

What assets do REITs own?

In total, REITs of all types collectively own more than $3.5 trillion in gross assets across the U.S., with stock-exchange listed REITs owning approximately $2.5 trillion in assets, representing more than 500,000 properties. U.S. listed REITs have an equity market capitalization of more than $1 trillion.

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 multiples types of properties in their portfolios.

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