Real Estate Investment Trust: Meaning and Significance | Motilal Oswal

Real Estate Investment Trust: Meaning and Significance


Real estate investment trusts (REITs) have become popular among investors seeking alternatives for generating passive income. These unique investment vehicles provide an opportunity to make real estate investments without large sums of capital or property management responsibilities. Let's explore what a REIT is, how it works, and check out crucial tips for investing.

What is a REIT?

A REIT is an entity that plays multiple roles like owning, operating, and financing income-producing real estate assets. These assets include apartment buildings, office spaces, shopping centers, hotels, and more. REITs were first created in 1960 to allow individuals to invest in real estate on a large scale.

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How does a REIT work?

REITs work by pooling the capital from multiple investors and using that money to invest in income-generating real estate properties. These properties generate rental income and, in some cases, capital appreciation, thus benefitting the investors in the long run.

Here's a simplified breakdown of how a REIT operates:

  • Property acquisition

A REIT identifies and acquires real estate properties across different assets and geographic locations to reduce risk.

  • Property management

The REIT manages and maintains the properties, including collecting rent and ensuring proper upkeep.

  • Rental income

The rental income generated is the REIT's primary revenue source.

  • Dividends

90% of the taxable income earned by the REIT is distributed to shareholders in the form of dividends.

  • Capital appreciation

If the value of the properties held by the REIT increases over time, investors may also benefit from capital appreciation when they liquidate their investments.


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