REITs take increasing share of global investors

Due to strong dividends, they've offered a place to wait out uncertainty in the market, especially in the U.S.



The Financial Post reported today that REITs sold more stock to global investors this year than at any time before the financial crisis. The key attraction, said the article, is that REITs return 90% of their income back to shareholders.


Data from Dealogic showed global REIT volume at $47.6 billion from 204 deals, the highest total since the record of $52.7 billion in 2007.


Canadian REITs have risen more than 120% from their lows of two years ago. U.S. REITs are even higher, having gained 170%. Both figures are before dividend payments are factored in. The most popular option has been multifamily REITs, which allow investors to get into the large-scale rental market of major cities.


REITs are basically a mutual fund that invests in a portfolio of real estate of specific types of properties such as apartments, office, retail or hotels. Unit holders get a proportional share of profits and losses.


The Globe and Mail reports Canadian REITs currently yield about 5.6% -- well above the 10-year Government of Canada bond.

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