Real estate investment trusts (REITs) are popular among many investors due to the fact that REITs must pay out at least 90 percent of the company’s taxable income each year in the form of shareholder dividends. This requirement gets many dividend focused investors excited the first time they hear it. Equally exciting is the broad range of publicly traded REITS available today. With approximately 200 tradable REITs spread across 20 categories, there is plenty to choose from as you look for that next high-yielding investment.
A full list of publicly traded REITs can be found by scrolling down or you can access a list of the REITs in each category by the industry links on this page.
Apartment REITs: These companies own and/or operate multifamily communities with apartments being the most common property type of investment you will find in these companies’ portfolios. Examples of companies in this category include:
AvalonBay Communities, Inc. (AVB)
Equity Residential (EQR)
Essex Property Trust, Inc. (ESS)
Correctional Facility REITs: These companies own correction and detention facilities including jails and state and federal prisons.
Data Center REITs: These REITs own, develop, operate and/or manage data centers. Examples include:
Digital Realty Trust, Inc. (DLR)
Diversified REITs: It is very common for REITs to specialize in a specific field of real estate investing, such as the categories you see of this list. These diversified REITs have portfolios with significant assets in more than one primary real estate area. There are over 25 companies in this category with a nice blend of small, mid and large-cap companies to investigate. Examples of some of the larger companies include:
Duke Realty Corporation (DRE)
Vornado Realty Trust (VNO)
SL Green Realty Corporation (SLG)
Farmland REITs: The basic business model of the farmland REIT is acquiring farmland and leasing it out to farmers.
Government and Defense REITs: These companies lease properties to U.S. federal and state government agencies and/or defense contractors.
Health Care REITs: Examples of the properties these REITs invest in include assisted living facilities, hospitals, independent living facilities, medical offices and skilled nursing facilities. Examples of some of the larger companies include:
HCP, Inc. (HCP)
Ventas, Inc. (VTR)
Welltower, Inc. (HCN)
Hotels: Many of the hotels these REITs own and/or operate fall under well-known hotel brands including Doubletree, Embassy Suites, Fairmont, Holiday Inn, Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott, Sheraton, Starwood, Westin and Wyndham. Examples of companies in this section include Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc. (HST) and RLJ Lodging Trust (RLJ).
Addition non-REIT hotel companies can be found in our hotels and resorts section.
Industrial REITs: These companies own industrial properties such as bulk distribution warehouses and light industrial buildings. Examples of companies in this section include: DCT Industrial Trust Inc. (DCT) and ProLogis, Inc. (PLD).
Infrastructure REITs: A small, but wide ranging group of infrastructure REITs that own infrastructure assets in the areas of electrical utilities, oil & gas, transportation and renewable energy.
Life Science REITs: A small selection of companies that own build-to-suit campuses, laboratories and office space properties used by companies in the life science industry.
Mall REITs: The REITs in this category own malls including regional and super-regional malls. Many of the companies in this category are either mid or large-cap companies. Examples of companies in this section include:
General Growth Properties, Inc. (GGP)
Macerich Company (The) (MAC)
Simon Property Group, Inc. (SPG)
Manufactured Housing REITs: These REITS own and manage manufactured home, recreational vehicle and/or similar communities. Examples include Equity Lifestyle Properties, Inc. (ELS).
Mortgage REITs: These companies invest in a wide range of mortgage related securities and debt instruments. Examples of some of the larger REITs in this category include American Capital Agency Corp. (AGNC) and Starwood Property Trust, Inc. (STWD).
Office REITs: These REITs invest in office buildings that are used by a wide range of industries. The office category contains one of the larger selections of REITs with mid-cap companies comprising the majority of this list. Examples of companies in this section include:
Boston Properties, Inc. (BXP)
Kilroy Realty Corporation (KRC)
Liberty Property Trust (LPT)
Residential REITs: The companies in this section focus on single-family residential rental homes. Most of the REITs in this section are small or mid-cap companies.
Retail REITs: This section includes a list of companies that focus on freestanding retail properties. This page also includes a list of the mall and shopping center REITs. Examples include:
Federal Realty Investment Trust (FRT)
Realty Income Corporation (O)
Self-Storage REITs: These companies own and operate self-storage facilities. This section is comprised primarily of large and mid-cap companies. Examples include Extra Space Storage Inc. (EXR) and Public Storage (PSA).
Shopping Center REITs: These properties can include community shopping centers, grocery-anchored shopping centers, outlet centers and strip centers. There are quite a few REITs in this category including a mix of large, mid and small-cap companies. Examples of some of the larger companies include:
Brixmor Property Group Inc. (BRX)
DDR Corp. (DDR)
Kimco Realty Corporation (KIM)
Regency Centers Corporation (REG)
Student Housing REITs: These REITs own and manage on-campus and/or off-campus student housing properties. Examples include: American Campus Communities Inc. (ACC)
Timberland REITs: These REITs own and manage timberlands and most of the companies also are engaged in the creation of wood products through manufacturing facilities such as lumber mills and plywood mills.