Nareit’s Total REIT Industry Tracker Series – the Nareit T-Tracker– is the first quarterly performance measure of the heartbeat of the U.S. listed REIT industry. The series includes three key REIT industry measures: the Nareit FFO Tracker, which monitors equity REIT Funds From Operations; the Nareit NOI Tracker, which reports the equity REIT industry’s Net Operating Income; and the Nareit Dividend Tracker, which monitors the dividends U.S. listed equity and mortgage REITs pay to their shareholders.
Key Takeaways for Q3 2020
- Funds from operations (FFO) stabilized, rising 5.6% from the second quarter, to $11.9 billion, following a 23.5% decline in the second quarter. FFO was 22.3% lower than the third quarter of 2019.
- Net operating income (NOI) totaled $22.1 billion, 4.6% higher than the prior quarter and 10.1% below one year earlier.
- Dividends paid by equity REITs totaled $10.7 billion, and dividends paid by mREITs totaled $1.6 billion. The $12.2 billion overall dividends paid was 25.1% lower than in the second quarter of 2019.
- Occupancy rates were 90.9%, up 110 basis points from the prior quarter.
- The ratio of debt to total book assets was 50.8%, compared to 52.0% in the prior quarter. Leverage ratios are far below the 57.0% during the financial crisis of 2008, as REITs raised billions of dollars of equity capital over the past decade.
- The weighted average interest coverage ratio increased from 3.2x in Q2 to 3.8x in Q3. Coverage ratios remain well above the 2.6x during the financial crisis in 2008.
“Economic conditions remain challenging with large parts of the economy operating below capacity during the pandemic. Many REITs reported rising rental receipts, however, as the reopening of shops and stores contributed to tenants’ cash flows,” said Calvin Schnure, Nareit senior economist. “Conditions vary widely across property types according to their exposures to the pandemic, and those REIT sectors that support the digital economy—data centers, infrastructure, and industrial REITs—have experienced strong demand.”