Parade of Nations

11/5/2012 | By Matthew Bechard

Published in the September/October 2012 issue of REIT magazine.

The REIT approach to real estate investment, originated in the United States more than 50 years ago, has become the gold standard for property owners across the globe. The same attributes that have driven the growth of REITs in the U.S. – diversification, dividends, transparency, liquidity and performance – are fueling the growth of REITs and publicly traded real estate throughout the world.

The list of countries that have enacted REIT or REIT-like legislation is in the early stages of beginning to look like the famed “parade of nations” that recently took place during the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in London. You can see how widespread REITs have become around the world in the chart on page 9. Countries that have adopted REITs and REIT-like structures range from established financial centers, such as the United Kingdom and Japan, to emerging markets like Taiwan and Malaysia. The story of one of the most recent adopters, Mexico in 2010, is profiled in “Fibra Uno Introduces REITs to Mexico.”

And while Mexico’s REIT market is just beginning to get its feet underneath it, there are more countries on the way. Progress is underway to establish REITs in South Africa, Nigeria, Vietnam and India, among others. Meanwhile, many observers hope that China will follow suit and develop its own REIT market in the not too distant future.

Countries that have adopted REITs and REIT-like structures range from established financial centers, to emerging markets

The most comprehensive index for the REIT and listed property market around the world is the FTSE EPRA/NAREIT Global Real Estate Index Series, which was created jointly by the index provider FTSE Group, NAREIT and the European Public Real Estate Association (EPRA).

At mid-year, the global index included 414 stock-exchange listed real estate companies from 37 countries representing an equity market capitalization of about $1 trillion (with just over 68 percent of that coming from REITs). The index is used by a variety of institutional investors, money managers and funds in connection with real estate investment on a global basis.

The feature “Global Investment Appeal” in this issue explores some of the primary issues global fund managers face heading into 2013 and where the best investment opportunities in the listed commercial real estate market may be in the coming year. Across the board, these fund managers believe real estate stocks, led by REITs around the world, will continue to remain an attractive investment option—in large part due to the reliable income they provide—in an increasingly income-hungry world.

Matthew Bechard
Editor in Chief


Other Features

Generation Gaps
It is a parental obligation to frequently remind your children how much more difficult life was when you were growing up. When I tell my three kids...
Matt Bechard
Teacher Say, Student Do
Mentors come in all shapes and sizes, and they often stumble into our lives when we need them most. It could be the apartment maintenance man who...
Matt Bechard
Remembering Ralph Block
When I joined NAREIT in 2001, I was full of energy and ideas, but very little REIT knowledge. I was hired to reshape the industry’s flagship magazine...
Matt Bechard
Football by Any Other Name
This issue of REIT magazine corresponds with the start of fall, and for many that means football: the athleticism of box-to-box midfielders; the...
Matt Bechard
REITs: Building a Sustainable Buzz
For the past several years, the July/August issue of REIT magazine has shined a light on sustainability practices, issues and trends in the REIT...
Matthew Bechard
REITWeek Comes of Age
Each year, REITWeek: NAREIT’s Investor Forum serves as an important mile marker for the real estate investment industry. Scheduled right after first...
Matt Bechard
The Importance of REITs and Digital Infrastructure
On Valentine’s Day I took my wife out to a nice dinner at our favorite local restaurant. With three kids, any meal that doesn’t involve chicken...
Matt Bechard
The More Things Change
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” –Ferris Bueller That quote struck me recently while...
REIT Redevelopment Projects Are Transforming Communities
One of my favorite activities to do with my three kids is hiking on the trails that run alongside a nearby creek. It is a great way to get them away...
Global Expansion of REIT Brand Centered on Variety and Familiarity
The co-founders of Baskin-Robbins originally created the company’s 31 flavors marketing campaign in 1953. The idea was built on offering customers...