REITs give all Americans the opportunity to invest in income-producing real estate without owning the actual properties. REITs in the U.S. and many other parts of the world now make real estate investing easy and efficient, thanks to the liquidity of public markets.
REITs and listed real estate equities have become the most efficient and accessible way for investors and investment managers to invest in real estate.
The equities of companies that own portfolios of properties or engage in real estate financing are bought and sold on major U.S. stock exchanges every day. There are more than 200 REITs traded on U.S. stock exchanges and held by REIT mutual funds and ETFs, with a market capitalization approaching $1 trillion at the start of 2015. Globally, there are more than 200 REITs from 30 countries outside of the U.S., which are transforming how people invest in real estate opportunities around the world.
As a result of public market liquidity, REITs make real estate investing efficient and accessible for individuals. For many, REITs also provide considerably less hassle and risk than buying, managing and maintaining their own building. REITs also provide an effective way for professional investment managers to manage their real estate investments; and a meaningful way to reduce the risks of illiquidity.