History of REITs


On Sept. 14, 1960 President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed legislation that created a new approach to income-producing real estate investment – a manner in which the best attributes of real estate and stock-based investment are combined.

REITs, for the first time, brought the benefits of commercial real estate investment to all investors – benefits that previously had been available only through large financial intermediaries and to wealthy individuals.

Over time, investors responded to this new opportunity, and more than five decades after their creation stock exchange-listed U.S. REITs the industry has grown to a $1 trillion equity market capitalization and nearly $2 trillion in real estate assets.

REITs in the U.S. and increasingly around the world now regularly provide investors with the opportunity for meaningful dividends, portfolio diversification, valuable liquidity, enviable transparency and competitive performance.

Watch a short video from NAREIT President and CEO Steven A. Wechsler with a few reflections marking the 50th anniversary of REITs. You can also find video interviews and articles which provide the reflections and thoughts of key industry leaders in connection with the 50th anniversary of REITs.

Also, please be sure to visit the interactive timeline on REITs and the REIT approach to real estate investment.

The November/December 2010 issue of REIT magazine also featured extensive coverage of the 50th anniversary.