Real Estate Investment Trusts

Real Estate Investment Trusts


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 Trusts

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.

Remember a valuer will need to substantiate his figure with comparable - and recent - local sales, which is usually tough to argue with.

Even arranging finance for a new build can be fraught with danger. One such case recently saw a mortgage arranged for a new build. The customer had negotiated a discount from the builder's original asking price and, by definition, set a market price for the new property.

Imagine explaining to the customer that the deal he had got on his property was not as good as he thought because a licensed valuation down graded the new purchase by 15,000. This resulted in the deal not fitting the lender criteria and a distressed customer at loggerheads with the builder. The builder was happy to back out of the deal and sell the property to another customer, happy in the knowledge that the chances of the same valuer turning up were remote. The consequence was a very unhappy customer and a very traumatic process for all involved, including the mortgage broker.