Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITS)

A real estate investment trust (REIT) is a company that owns, operates, or finances income-generating real estate. Similar to mutual funds, REITs pool capital of multiple investors to purchase investment properties, mortgages and other real estate assets. This page lists the 100 largest United States REITs by market cap. What is a REIT?

CompanyPE RatioMarket CapCurrent PricePrice ChangeVolumeAverage VolumeIndicator(s)
American Tower logo
American Tower
66.33$129.73 billion$285.87+0.4%28,5491.40 millionUpcoming Earnings
Prologis logo
61.84$95.15 billion$128.62+0.5%39,8822.10 millionAnalyst Report
Crown Castle International logo
Crown Castle International
74.40$83.60 billion$193.44+0.6%28,1441.43 millionEarnings Announcement
Equinix logo
183.19$74.99 billion$837.16+0.9%2,913454,901Upcoming Earnings
Public Storage logo
Public Storage
46.92$55.01 billion$314.39+0.2%14,016669,880Upcoming Earnings
Digital Realty Trust logo
Digital Realty Trust
100.56$43.61 billion$154.87+0.7%10,3961.02 millionUpcoming Earnings
Simon Property Group logo
Simon Property Group
35.59$41.27 billion$125.62-1.1%47,2582.18 millionUpcoming Earnings
SBA Communications logo
SBA Communications
275.53$37.06 billion$338.90+0.2%10,169445,907Upcoming Earnings
Welltower logo
50.25$36.72 billion$87.94+0.4%14,2722.15 millionUpcoming Earnings
Analyst Report
Short Interest Increase
AvalonBay Communities logo
AvalonBay Communities
39.95$31.90 billion$228.54+1.0%5,101625,003Upcoming Earnings
Short Interest Decrease
Equity Residential logo
Equity Residential
48.10$31.84 billion$85.13+0.8%15,7311.55 million
Alexandria Real Estate Equities logo
Alexandria Real Estate Equities
34.78$29.50 billion$200.00+1.9%14,766667,524Analyst Report
News Coverage
Realty Income logo
Realty Income
73.49$27.76 billion$71.29+0.9%143,9753.11 millionUpcoming Earnings
Weyerhaeuser logo
19.46$25.95 billion$34.64-0.1%41,7254.35 millionUpcoming Earnings
Analyst Upgrade
Extra Space Storage logo
Extra Space Storage
39.23$23.09 billion$172.63+1.1%8,334788,524
Ventas logo
N/A$22.47 billion$59.91+0.3%32,6363.04 millionShort Interest Increase
Essex Property Trust logo
Essex Property Trust
51.51$21.70 billion$333.78+0.8%1,414279,481Upcoming Earnings
Positive News
Mid-America Apartment Communities logo
Mid-America Apartment Communities
82.38$21.60 billion$188.64+1.0%4,297484,818Upcoming Earnings
Short Interest Increase
Sun Communities logo
Sun Communities
110.54$21.51 billion$192.34+1.7%6,465487,791Earnings Announcement
News Coverage
Healthpeak Properties logo
Healthpeak Properties
72.12$19.82 billion$36.78+1.1%27,7022.79 millionUpcoming Earnings
Analyst Report
News Coverage
Duke Realty logo
Duke Realty
53.30$19.19 billion$51.17+0.5%17,1811.63 millionUpcoming Earnings
News Coverage
Boston Properties logo
Boston Properties
39.58$18.10 billion$115.97+0.5%11,794881,546
VICI Properties logo
VICI Properties
14.05$16.91 billion$31.48-0.2%46,9003.38 millionUpcoming Earnings
Analyst Revision
News Coverage
UDR logo
276.46$16.41 billion$55.29+0.4%17,1332.23 millionUpcoming Earnings
Equity LifeStyle Properties logo
Equity LifeStyle Properties
63.45$15.27 billion$83.75+1.7%6,991676,568Dividend Announcement
Analyst Upgrade
News Coverage
W. P. Carey logo
W. P. Carey
32.08$14.46 billion$80.51+0.8%8,646806,104Upcoming Earnings
Analyst Upgrade
Analyst Revision
News Coverage
Camden Property Trust logo
Camden Property Trust
131.70$14.41 billion$147.50+0.8%6,339494,082Upcoming Earnings
Analyst Upgrade
Positive News
American Homes 4 Rent logo
American Homes 4 Rent
139.97$13.32 billion$41.99+0.3%23,4231.61 millionAnalyst Upgrade
Iron Mountain logo
Iron Mountain
38.66$12.61 billion$43.69+0.2%12,4281.81 million
Medical Properties Trust logo
Medical Properties Trust
22.20$12.28 billion$20.87-0.1%36,2994.26 millionUpcoming Earnings
Positive News
Sino Land logo
Sino Land
N/A$12.07 billion$8.16+4.1%6883,001Short Interest Decrease
Gap Up
Annaly Capital Management logo
Annaly Capital Management
2.71$11.79 billion$8.43-0.5%369,79518.29 millionUpcoming Earnings
55.72$11.36 billion$49.59+0.9%123,8511.84 millionAnalyst Downgrade
Short Interest Increase
Analyst Revision
Host Hotels & Resorts logo
Host Hotels & Resorts
N/A$11.31 billion$16.02-1.0%117,2487.54 millionUpcoming Earnings
Regency Centers logo
Regency Centers
74.58$11.15 billion$65.63+1.2%9,366727,518
Gaming and Leisure Properties logo
Gaming and Leisure Properties
19.77$10.95 billion$47.050.0%7,284707,053Upcoming Earnings
Analyst Revision
Lamar Advertising logo
Lamar Advertising
43.59$10.53 billion$104.18-0.3%3,174364,600
STORE Capital logo
STORE Capital
46.48$9.93 billion$36.72+0.3%15,2141.49 million
CubeSmart logo
56.15$9.84 billion$48.85+0.3%3,7041.08 millionUpcoming Earnings
Analyst Upgrade
Americold Realty Trust logo
Americold Realty Trust
N/A$9.79 billion$38.76+0.3%18,6721.86 millionPositive News
Federal Realty Investment Trust logo
Federal Realty Investment Trust
77.86$9.20 billion$118.34+1.5%5,388620,441Short Interest Decrease
CyrusOne logo
199.19$9.03 billion$73.70+0.7%6,450712,745Upcoming Earnings
Life Storage logo
Life Storage
51.83$9.02 billion$116.11+0.7%2,496508,247Upcoming Earnings
Kimco Realty logo
Kimco Realty
8.77$8.97 billion$20.70-0.6%202,9344.87 millionUpcoming Earnings
Omega Healthcare Investors logo
Omega Healthcare Investors
37.83$8.81 billion$37.45+0.4%20,9501.64 millionUpcoming Earnings
Dividend Announcement
National Retail Properties logo
National Retail Properties
42.58$8.75 billion$49.82+1.0%4,463802,369Upcoming Earnings
Vornado Realty Trust logo
Vornado Realty Trust
N/A$8.50 billion$44.39+0.2%15,3371.24 millionUpcoming Earnings
Positive News
AGNC Investment logo
AGNC Investment
2.90$8.42 billion$16.04-0.9%463,8816.97 millionEarnings Announcement
Apartment Income REIT logo
Apartment Income REIT
30.16$8.18 billion$52.18+0.8%3,494762,347Upcoming Earnings
Short Interest Decrease
Rexford Industrial Realty logo
Rexford Industrial Realty
93.82$8.17 billion$60.98+0.6%6,499836,521Earnings Announcement
Dividend Announcement
Analyst Revision
Kilroy Realty logo
Kilroy Realty
12.54$8.06 billion$69.22+0.3%5,247859,357Upcoming Earnings
Klépierre logo
N/A$7.52 billion$26.38+4.5%7,6351,306Gap Up
High Trading Volume
High Trading Volume
Starwood Property Trust logo
Starwood Property Trust
14.64$7.40 billion$25.77-0.8%11,7931.78 millionShort Interest Decrease
Positive News
First Industrial Realty Trust logo
First Industrial Realty Trust
30.24$7.07 billion$54.74+0.3%16,9941.10 millionEarnings Announcement
Short Interest Decrease
American Campus Communities logo
American Campus Communities
1,279.50$7.06 billion$51.18+2.0%16,207824,378Earnings Announcement
News Coverage
EastGroup Properties logo
EastGroup Properties
61.86$7.06 billion$176.30+0.3%1,766145,198News Coverage
Brixmor Property Group logo
Brixmor Property Group
59.13$6.67 billion$22.47+0.0%24,9651.97 millionUpcoming Earnings
Analyst Upgrade
Short Interest Increase
News Coverage
STAG Industrial logo
STAG Industrial
38.72$6.37 billion$39.88flat2,324863,248
Healthcare Trust of America logo
Healthcare Trust of America
111.04$6.32 billion$28.87+1.1%17,3091.96 million
CoreSite Realty logo
CoreSite Realty
69.57$5.95 billion$138.45+0.5%1,955350,313Upcoming Earnings
Short Interest Decrease
Cousins Properties logo
Cousins Properties
64.05$5.90 billion$39.71+0.4%7,5581.08 millionUpcoming Earnings
Douglas Emmett logo
Douglas Emmett
176.38$5.88 billion$33.51-0.4%6,277743,433Upcoming Earnings
MGM Growth Properties logo
MGM Growth Properties
27.16$5.79 billion$37.75-0.1%3,6721.19 millionShort Interest Increase
Analyst Revision
Positive News
QTS Realty Trust logo
QTS Realty Trust
N/A$5.34 billion$77.57-0.1%82,1571.79 millionUpcoming Earnings
Short Interest Increase
SL Green Realty logo
SL Green Realty
18.95$5.27 billion$75.92+1.1%19,071891,253Earnings Announcement
Dividend Announcement
Rayonier logo
250.00$5.21 billion$37.50+0.8%7,042909,333Dividend Announcement
The Howard Hughes logo
The Howard Hughes
155.92$4.98 billion$90.43-0.2%1,059205,977
Highwoods Properties logo
Highwoods Properties
22.76$4.88 billion$46.89-0.3%18,400623,989
Agree Realty logo
Agree Realty
42.96$4.86 billion$75.61+1.2%7,182436,437Analyst Upgrade
News Coverage
Blackstone Mortgage Trust logo
Blackstone Mortgage Trust
17.01$4.63 billion$31.46-0.8%10,6041.09 millionUpcoming Earnings
Positive News
Healthcare Realty Trust logo
Healthcare Realty Trust
47.30$4.49 billion$31.69+0.5%8,161806,881
New Residential Investment logo
New Residential Investment
9.61$4.40 billion$9.42-1.2%64,3526.00 millionUpcoming Earnings
Short Interest Increase
JBG SMITH Properties logo
JBG SMITH Properties
N/A$4.33 billion$32.85-0.2%4,031856,259Upcoming Earnings
Hannon Armstrong Sustainable Infrastructure Capital logo
Hannon Armstrong Sustainable Infrastructure Capital
40.09$4.32 billion$54.92-1.8%2,511403,537
National Storage Affiliates Trust logo
National Storage Affiliates Trust
87.95$4.28 billion$54.53-0.1%9,8011.17 millionUpcoming Earnings
Positive News
Ryman Hospitality Properties logo
Ryman Hospitality Properties
N/A$4.27 billion$77.54-1.1%3,188567,679Upcoming Earnings
PS Business Parks logo
PS Business Parks
38.38$4.26 billion$154.69+0.2%6374,339Upcoming Earnings
Physicians Realty Trust logo
Physicians Realty Trust
60.90$4.07 billion$18.88+0.5%9,7021.51 millionPositive News
Weingarten Realty Investors logo
Weingarten Realty Investors
45.41$4.00 billion$31.33-2.4%31,424849,292Upcoming Earnings
News Coverage
Sabra Health Care REIT logo
Sabra Health Care REIT
27.77$3.96 billion$18.33flat10,2541.29 millionShort Interest Decrease
Positive News
EPR Properties logo
EPR Properties
N/A$3.91 billion$52.27-0.6%6,353666,361
Broadstone Net Lease logo
Broadstone Net Lease
28.54$3.75 billion$25.69+1.2%11,6151.05 millionUpcoming Earnings
Short Interest Decrease
Lexington Realty Trust logo
Lexington Realty Trust
17.83$3.56 billion$12.84+0.4%20,7471.76 millionPositive News
PotlatchDeltic logo
11.28$3.52 billion$52.56+0.6%7,351467,403Earnings Announcement
News Coverage
Essential Properties Realty Trust logo
Essential Properties Realty Trust
67.53$3.41 billion$29.04-0.2%3,932570,970Upcoming Earnings
Positive News
Outfront Media logo
Outfront Media
N/A$3.41 billion$23.41-1.3%11,8501.38 millionAnalyst Revision
Corporate Office Properties Trust logo
Corporate Office Properties Trust
50.31$3.33 billion$29.68-0.2%7,7391.08 millionUpcoming Earnings
Chimera Investment logo
Chimera Investment
7.29$3.33 billion$14.44-1.2%18,4261.95 million
Apple Hospitality REIT logo
Apple Hospitality REIT
N/A$3.31 billion$14.79-0.7%33,0141.73 millionShort Interest Decrease
DigitalBridge Group
N/A$3.27 billion$6.72-2.3%32,6103.38 million
SITE Centers logo
SITE Centers
N/A$3.24 billion$15.34-0.4%22,2451.78 millionUpcoming Earnings
Short Interest Increase
Equity Commonwealth logo
Equity Commonwealth
378.63$3.23 billion$26.50+0.2%4,2801.04 millionUpcoming Earnings
Short Interest Decrease
National Health Investors logo
National Health Investors
19.21$3.13 billion$68.19+0.6%981238,653Short Interest Decrease
Pebblebrook Hotel Trust logo
Pebblebrook Hotel Trust
N/A$2.98 billion$22.67-1.0%11,4481.16 millionUpcoming Earnings
News Coverage
Positive News
The Macerich logo
The Macerich
N/A$2.97 billion$16.55-1.9%48,6753.40 million
Retail Properties of America logo
Retail Properties of America
N/A$2.64 billion$12.31flat33,5262.79 millionUpcoming Earnings
Uniti Group logo
Uniti Group
N/A$2.58 billion$11.05-0.5%17,4481.24 millionNews Coverage
Brandywine Realty Trust logo
Brandywine Realty Trust
7.95$2.41 billion$14.08flat66,5541.88 millionNews Coverage
Arbor Realty Trust logo
Arbor Realty Trust
7.22$2.37 billion$17.84-0.7%4,8321.25 millionUpcoming Earnings
Positive News
RLJ Lodging Trust logo
RLJ Lodging Trust
N/A$2.35 billion$14.25-2.3%23,0211.18 millionShort Interest Increase
Positive News
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Summary - For investors who are looking to get the benefits of investing in real estate without owning property, a real estate investment trust (REIT) is an attractive option. And by combining the popularity of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) with an investment in REIT stocks, investors can get the benefits of REIT stocks with much lower risk. With a REIT ETF, investors can own a diverse group of properties inside of a fund that is traded in the same way that they would buy and sell shares on a stock exchange. REIT ETF investors also benefit from the high dividend yields that REIT ETFs generate.

For a company to be considered a REIT, they have to meet many specific requirements. These requirements, which were established by Congress when they created the concept of a REIT in 1960, help ensure that investors can maximize the income generating aspect of a REIT.

Like any ETF investors should pay close attention to the ETF’s prospectus for information regarding who manages the fund, the fees, and expenses associated with the fund, whether the fund is actively or passively managed, and the overall investment philosophy of the fund before deciding whether to invest. A REIT ETF carries the same risks, although perhaps moderated, as other real estate investments. The most notable threat to the profitability of an ETF is rising interest rates.


Part of the grown-up humor in the children’s classic A Charlie Brown Christmas is when Lucy tells Charlie Brown that she never gets what she really wants for Christmas. When Charlie Brown asks Lucy what that something is, she replies “real estate”.

Investors have long understood the value of real estate as an investment vehicle. However, property ownership was, and in some cases still is, a barrier of entry for all but institutional investors. That was one of the reasons Congress established the concept of a real estate investment trust (REIT) that would give individual investors an opportunity to invest in real estate without owning residential or commercial real estate. Just like the housing market, a REIT can be subject to the volatility of the stock market. However, REITs have several rules in place that make them an attractive investment option. When you combine those rules with the benefits of an exchange-traded fund (ETF), REITs can be an attractive alternative for income-oriented investors in any market.

In this article, we’ll look at REIT ETFs as an investment decision. For those investors who are unfamiliar with what REITs are, we’ll define what a REIT is as well as look at give a basic overview of what an ETF is. As the article goes on, we’ll put the two together to show why a REIT ETF can give investors the advantages of investing in real estate with less risk.

What is a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT)?

In 1960, Congress established a financial product that would allow individual investors to invest in real estate without having to buy or finance property. A Real Estate Investment Trust (or REIT) is made up of a number of real estate companies that own a portfolio of income-producing real estate assets. Investing in a REIT allows these investors to earn a share of the income that these assets produce.

Real estate investment trusts are divided into two categories: equity REITs and mortgage REITs.

  • Equity REITs invest in a variety of commercial properties such as offices, shopping malls, apartments, and hotels. The primary income source for these REITs comes through the income they receive from rent. Equity REITs currently make up the majority of the REIT market with more than $2 trillion of assets under management. Avalon Bay Communities (NYSE: AVB) is an example of an equity REIT.
  • Mortgage REITs, by contrast, are composed of more residential than commercial properties and most of their income is derived from mortgages and mortgage-backed securities. Mortgage REITs (or mREITs) profit from the spread between the interest rates they earn from their mortgage loans and the rates they are changed for their short-term borrowing. For example, let's look at a mortgage REIT that purchases a 15-year mortgage that pays them 3% interest per year. If their short-term borrowing cost is 2% per year than they will have a difference or spread of 1% that represents their profit. New York Mortgage Trust (NASDAQ: NYMT) is an example of a mortgage REIT.

REITs can be publicly listed and publicly traded in the stock market, publicly listed (but not publicly traded), or privately listed. REITs must follow specific rules that make them an attractive investment. To begin with, REITs are modeled after mutual funds in the sense that every REIT contains a “basket” of properties. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) treats a REIT like a corporation. Shares in a REIT must be widely held by shareholders and the REIT itself must primarily own or finance real estate. In addition, their real estate holding must have a long-term investment outlook.

Some additional rules that govern REITs include:

  • At least 75% of their income must be earned from real estate as rent, interest, or the sale of real estate assets.
  • At least 75% of their assets must be in real estate.
  • At least 95% of their income must be passive.
  • At least 90% of their taxable income must be distributed to shareholders as dividends (a REIT has no retained earnings). All dividends are taxed at ordinary rates.

What are the benefits of investing in REITs?

Dividend income– Because of the rules that govern REITs, investors are assured of a dividend payout that is higher in proportion to other stocks. Financial advisors will often recommend a REIT to their income-oriented clients because the dividend yields have historically been higher than stocks on the S&P 500 index. 

Diversification – REITs have a historically low correlation with other asset classes like stocks and bonds. This means that when stocks and bonds are undergoing a correction, REITs generally may do well. However, to maximize the benefits of diversification, investors should look to invest in a variety of REITs so as to get diversification not only between asset classes but also within an asset class.

Inflation Hedging– Equity REITs, in particular, have demonstrated an ability to generate increased revenue – from rent for example – even during periods when inflation is on the rise. This means that investors who are looking for an income that will provide reliable income that can help sustain a longer retirement timeline.

Total Return Performance– In addition to issuing regular dividends, REITs have a proven history of long-term capital appreciation. In fact, over the past half-century, REITs have outperformed the broader stock market as well as other assets.

Liquidity and Transparency– Because they are traded on stock exchanges, REITs offer the same liquidity as other stocks. And because those that are publicly traded are registered and regulated by the SEC, investors are assured that the companies are subject to the SEC standards for corporate governance, financial reporting, and information disclosure. 

What is an exchange-traded fund (ETF)?

An exchange-traded fund (ETF) is one of many financial products that serve as a vehicle for investing in REITs. In contrast to a mutual fund which reconciles share price once a day based on the fund’s closing price, shares of an ETF trade like a common stock on an exchange, meaning the market price will go up or down throughout a trading session as shares are bought and sold. An ETF generally trades with a higher daily volume than a mutual fund and has lower fees and expenses which can make them more attractive for investors. Like a publicly traded company that sells shares on a stock exchange, a company that manages an ETF is required to disclose information about the fund to the public.

Putting it all together, the REIT ETF

A REIT ETF is an exchange-traded fund that is exclusive to REIT stocks. As an investor, REIT funds are an ideal vehicle to use a low-cost investment vehicle to gain exposure to a diverse range of properties. As with any investment, investors should take care to perform their due diligence before deciding to invest money in a REIT ETF.

  • Know who manages the ETF– in many cases, REIT ETFs are issued by well-known investment firms that have earned the trust of investors. However, as ETFs have become increasingly popular, there are more companies that are ETFs being created. Just because a company is not well-known does not make it a bad investment, it just means that investors may have to perform more research before making an investment.
  • Know the fee structure– Although most ETFs charge lower fees and expenses than a mutual fund there are exceptions. The best way to compare the fees and expenses of an ETF is similar to how you would compare any asset class. Look at the prospectus of the REIT you are considering along with the prospectus of REIT ETFs that share a similar portfolio of assets.
  • Know your risk tolerance– REIT ETFs help manage the risk that can come from owning real estate. They cannot, however, eliminate all risk. As should be expected, REIT ETFs are subject to the same market forces that affect the real estate market. They are extremely sensitive to interest rates as well as employment rates.

How to have success with a REIT ETF

There are currently more than 200 REIT ETFs for investors to choose from. REIT ETFs are beginning to figure prominently in the 401(k) plans. However, like other investment vehicles, not all ETFs are the same. To have success, investors should understand what the investment philosophy of the ETF is and match that to their personal risk tolerance. Like any mutual fund, portfolio managers can get very niche driven which can add more risk to the ETF that investors are comfortable with. You should also be sure to know if the fund is actively managed or passively managed. In an actively managed ETF, a portfolio manager selects the REIT stocks that make up the fund and will actively buy and sell stocks to generate a higher total return. In a passively managed fund, the portfolio manager seeks stocks that track an index. The Financial Times Stock Exchange (FTSE) Nareit Index tracks the performance of the U.S. REIT industry and the Global REIT market.

Finally, investors should look for diversification. This means looking at U.S. REIT ETFs as well as the global REIT ETF market.

The bottom line on REIT ETFs

One of the most important strategies for investment success is the ability to profit in any market condition. For income investors, a REIT EFT can help produce regular and predictable income even in times of low-interest rates. A REIT ETF provides the ability for investors to gain exposure to and profit in the real estate market without owning property. Owning shares of a REIT ETF is similar to buying shares of a REIT stock with the exception that investors have more diversification because they are purchasing a basket of companies rather than tying their investment to a specific REIT stock.

One of the most important benefits of a REIT ETF is regular dividend distributions along with some capital appreciation that can lead to a total return that, while not as high as if the investor owned the underlying properties comes with significantly lower risk. Like the real estate market in general, REIT ETFs can be sensitive to fluctuations in interest rates.


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