Real estate investment trusts (REITs) is an investment trust where many people invest their money in commercial and residential real estate businesses. The trust manages and possesses many commercial properties and mortgages. The trust also invests in other types of real estate. Real estate investment trusts shows the best characteristics of both real estate and stocks.
Real estate investment trust is a company that operates income producing real estate such as apartments, offices, warehouses, shopping centers, and hotels. Though a variety of property types are there, most of the REITs concentrate on any one of the property types only. Those specializing in health care facilities are called the health care REITs. The real estate investment trust was formed in 1960 in order to make large scale income raising investments in real estate, which can be easily accessed by smaller investors. The trust’s main advantage is that it helps a person to select an appropriate share to invest on from a variety of group rather than investing on a single building or management.
Real estate investment trusts are broadly classified into three categories – equity, mortgage and hybrid. The first category involves the ownership and management of income producing real estate. Mortgage real estate investment trusts offers money directly to real estate owners by acquiring loans or mortgage backed securities. The third category not only owns properties but also provide loans to real estate owners and operators.
Real estate investment trusts differ from limited partnerships in many ways. One of the main differences lies in reporting the annual tax information to the investors and another is that there is no minimum investment amount. For a company to become a real estate investment trust, it should share out 90 percent or more of its taxable income to its shareholders once in a year. Once a company is qualified as an REIT, it is allowed to reduce the dividends given to its shareholders.