Updated on September 11th, 2023 by Bob Ciura
Spreadsheet data updated daily
Real estate investment trusts – or REITs, for short – can be fantastic securities for generating meaningful portfolio income. REITs widely offer higher dividend yields than the average stock.
While the S&P 500 Index on average yields less than 2% right now, it is relatively easy to find REITs with dividend yields of 5% or higher.
The following downloadable REIT list contains a comprehensive list of U.S. Real Estate Investment Trusts, along with metrics that matter including:
- Stock price
- Dividend yield
- Market capitalization
- 5-year beta
You can download your free 200+ REIT list (along with important financial metrics like dividend yields and payout ratios) by clicking on the link below:
In addition to the downloadable Excel sheet of all REITs, this article discusses why income investors should pay particularly close attention to this asset class. And, we also include our top 7 REITs today based on expected total returns.
Table Of Contents
In addition to the full downloadable Excel spreadsheet, this article covers our top 7 REITs today, as ranked using expected total returns from The Sure Analysis Research Database.
The table of contents below allows for easy navigation.
- How To Use The REIT List
- Why Invest In REITs?
- REIT Financial Metrics
- The Top 7 REITs Today
#7: Clipper Realty (CLPR)
#6: Douglas Emmett Inc. (DEI)
#5: UMH Properties (UMH)
#4: ARMOUR Residential REIT (ARR)
#3: American Assets Trust (AAT)
#2: Brandywine Realty Trust (BDN)
#1: Office Properties Income Trust (OPI)
How To Use The REIT List To Find Dividend Stock Ideas
REITs give investors the ability to experience the economic benefits associated with real estate ownership without the hassle of being a landlord in the traditional sense.
Because of the monthly rental cash flows generated by REITs, these securities are well-suited to investors that aim to generate income from their investment portfolios. Accordingly, dividend yield will be the primary metric of interest for many REIT investors.
For those unfamiliar with Microsoft Excel, the following images show how to filter for REITs with dividend yields between 5% and 7% using the ‘filter’ function of Excel.
Step 1: Download the Complete REIT Excel Spreadsheet List at the link above.
Step 2: Click on the filter icon at the top of the ‘Dividend Yield’ column in the Complete REIT Excel Spreadsheet List.
Step 3: Use the filter functions ‘Greater Than or Equal To’ and ‘Less Than or Equal To’ along with the numbers 0.05 ad 0.07 to display REITs with dividend yields between 5% and 7%.
This will help to eliminate any REITs with exceptionally high (and perhaps unsustainable) dividend yields.
Also, click on ‘Descending’ at the top of the filter window to list the REITs with the highest dividend yields at the top of the spreadsheet.
Now that you have the tools to identify high-quality REITs, the next section will show some of the benefits of owning this asset class in a diversified investment portfolio.
Why Invest in REITs?
REITs are, by design, a fantastic asset class for investors looking to generate income.
Thus, one of the primary benefits of investing in these securities is their high dividend yields.
The currently high dividend yields of REITs is not an isolated occurrence. In fact, this asset class has traded at a higher dividend yield than the S&P 500 for decades.
The high dividend yields of REITs are due to the regulatory implications of doing business as a real estate investment trust.
In exchange for listing as a REIT, these trusts must pay out at least 90% of their net income as dividend payments to their unitholders (REITs trade as units, not shares).
Sometimes you will see a payout ratio of less than 90% for a REIT, and that is likely because they are using funds from operations, not net income, in the denominator for REIT payout ratios (more on that later).
REIT Financial Metrics
REITs run unique business models. More than the vast majority of other business types, they are primarily involved in the ownership of long-lived assets.
From an accounting perspective, this means that REITs incur significant non-cash depreciation and amortization expenses.
How does this affect the bottom line of REITs?
Depreciation and amortization expenses reduce a company’s net income, which means that sometimes a REIT’s dividend will be higher than its net income, even though its dividends are safe based on cash flow.
Related: How To Value REITs
To give a better sense of financial performance and dividend safety, REITs eventually developed the financial metric funds from operations, or FFO.
Just like earnings, FFO can be reported on a per-unit basis, giving FFO/unit – the rough equivalent of earnings-per-share for a REIT.
FFO is determined by taking net income and adding back various non-cash charges that are seen to artificially impair a REIT’s perceived ability to pay its dividend.
For an example of how FFO is calculated, consider the following net income-to-FFO reconciliation from Realty Income (O), one of the largest and most popular REIT securities.
Source: Realty Income Annual Report
In 2022, net income was $869 million while FFO available to stockholders was above $2.4 billion, a sizable difference between the two metrics. This shows the profound effect that depreciation and amortization can have on the GAAP financial performance of real estate investment trusts.
The Top 7 REITs Today
Below we have ranked our top 7 REITs today based on expected total returns.
Expected total returns are in turn made up from dividend yield, expected growth on a per unit basis, and valuation multiple changes. Expected total return investing takes into account income (dividend yield), growth, and value.
Note: The REITs below have not been vetted for safety. These are high expected total return securities, but they may come with elevated risks.
We encourage investors to fully consider the risk/reward profile of these investments.
Top REIT #7: Clipper Realty (CLPR)
- Expected Total Return: 18.1%
- Dividend Yield: 6.4%
Clipper Properties owns commercial (primarily multifamily and office with a small sliver of retail) real estate across New York City.
On August 3rd, Clipper Properties released its second-quarter results. The company achieved record quarterly revenues of $34.5 million and income from operations of $8.0 million during the second quarter of 2023. Notably, there was also a record net operating income (“NOI”) of $19.2 million for the same period.
However, the company reported a net loss of $3.3 million for the second quarter. Additionally, the quarterly adjusted funds from operations (“AFFO”) amounted to $5.5 million.
Click here to download our most recent Sure Analysis report on CLPR (preview of page 1 of 3 shown below):
Top REIT #6: Douglas Emmett Inc. (DEI)
- Expected Total Return: 18.3%
- Dividend Yield: 5.5%
Douglas Emmett is the largest office landlord in Los Angeles and Honolulu, with a 38% average market share of office space in its submarkets. The REIT generates 86% of its revenue from its office portfolio and 14% of its revenue from its multifamily portfolio. It has approximately 2,700 office leases in its portfolio, with annual revenue of $1 billion.
Source: Investor Presentation
The merits of being the largest office landlord in Los Angeles are obvious, as Los Angeles County is the third-largest city in the world, with GDP of $1 trillion, behind only Tokyo and New York. The dominant position of Douglas Emmett creates operational synergies. In addition, the REIT benefits from high barriers to entry, which reduce competition. Moreover, the proximity to premier housing attracts affluent tenants, who offer reliable cash flows to the company.
Click here to download our most recent Sure Analysis report on DEI (preview of page 1 of 3 shown below):
Top REIT #5: UMH Properties (UMH)
- Expected Total Return: 18.4%
- Dividend Yield: 5.6%
UMH Properties is one of the largest manufactured housing landlords in the United States. It was founded in 1968 and currently owns tens of thousands of developed sites and over one hundred communities located across the midwestern and northeastern United States.
Source: Investor Presentation
On August 8th, 2023, UMH Properties announced its Q2 results, showcasing impressive financial progress. Normalized FFO for the quarter ended June 30, 2023, reached $13.0 million or $0.21 per diluted share. This marked a sequential increase of 4.5% per diluted share compared to the same period in 2022, which reported $12.0 million or $0.22 per diluted share, and a rise from the quarter ended March 31, 2023, which reported $11.7 million or $0.20.
Notable achievements include an 11.4% growth in Rental and Related Income, a 17.6% increase in Sales of Manufactured Homes, a 16.0% rise in Community Net Operating Income (“NOI”), a 12.6% increase in Same Property NOI, and a 190 basis points increase in Same Property Occupancy from 86.0% to 87.9%.
Click here to download our most recent Sure Analysis report on UMH (preview of page 1 of 3 shown below).
Top REIT #4: ARMOUR Residential REIT (ARR)
- Expected Total Return: 19.5%
- Dividend Yield: 19.9%
As an mREIT, ARMOUR Residential invests in residential mortgage-backed securities that include U.S. Government-sponsored entities (GSE) such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. It also includes Ginnie Mae, the Government National Mortgage Administration’s issued or guaranteed securities backed by fixed-rate, hybrid adjustable-rate, and adjustable-rate home loans.
Unsecured notes and bonds issued by the GSE and the US Treasury, money market instruments, and non-GSE or government agency-backed securities are examples of other types of investments.
Source: Investor Presentation
ARMOUR reported Q2 results on July 26th, 2023. The company reported a non-GAAP EPS of $0.23, missing expectations by $0.03. The net interest income was $5.8 million, with an asset yield of 4.24% and a net cost of funds of 2.49%, resulting in a net interest margin of 1.75%. The company paid common stock dividends of $0.08 per share per month.
Click here to download our most recent Sure Analysis report on ARMOUR Residential REIT Inc (ARR) (preview of page 1 of 3 shown below):
Top REIT #3: American Assets Trust (AAT)
- Expected Total Return: 19.7%
- Dividend Yield: 6.4%
American Assets Trust acquires and develops office, retail and residential properties throughout the U.S., primarily in Southern California, Northern California, Oregon, Washington and Hawaii.
Its office portfolio and its retail portfolio comprise of approximately 4.0 million and 3.1 million square feet, respectively. AAT also owns more than 2,000 multifamily units.
Source: Investor Presentation
In late July, AAT reported (7/25/23) financial results for the second quarter of fiscal 2023. Same-store net operating income grew 7.7% and funds from operations (FFO) per share grew 2% over the prior year’s quarter.
The positive performance resulted primarily from rent hikes and increased tourism in Hawaii, partly offset by higher operating expenses and interest expense. It improved its guidance for its FFO per share in 2023, from $2.23- $2.33 to $2.28-$2.36.
Click here to download our most recent Sure Analysis report on AAT (preview of page 1 of 3 shown below):
Top REIT #2: Brandywine Realty Trust (BDN)
- Expected Total Return: 23.9%
- Dividend Yield: 15.3%
Brandywine Realty owns, develops, leases and manages an urban town center and transit-oriented portfolio which includes 163 properties in Philadelphia, Austin and Washington, D.C. The REIT has a market capitalization of $1.1 billion and generates 74% of its operating income in Philadelphia, 22% of its operating income in Austin and the remaining 4% in Washington, D.C.
In late July, Brandywine Realty Trust reported (7/25/23) financial results for the second quarter of fiscal 2023. Its occupancy edged up sequentially from 89.0% to 89.4% and its funds from operations (FFO) per share remained flat at $0.29. It was the third consecutive quarter in which the impact of rising interest rates on interest expense was evident. Interest expense jumped 44% over last year’s quarter.
Click here to download our most recent Sure Analysis report on BDN (preview of page 1 of 3 shown below):
Top REIT #1: Office Properties Income Trust (OPI)
- Expected Total Return: 30.2%
- Dividend Yield: 17.0%
Office Properties Income Trust is a REIT that currently owns 157 buildings, which are primarily leased to single tenants with high credit quality. The REIT’s portfolio currently has a 90.5% occupancy rate.
On April 11th, 2023 Office Properties Income Trust announced it will merge with Diversified Healthcare Trust (DHC) in an all share (no cash) transaction. OPI shareholders will own ~58% of the combined company. The combined company will pay a $1.00 per share dividend.
Both Diversified Healthcare Trust and Office Properties Income Trust carry high debt loads. The level of debt is concerning. The new lower dividend will allow the company to use cash to better manage its liabilities. And with a 12.8% dividend yield, the current yield is extremely high by any measure.
Click here to download our most recent Sure Analysis report on OPI (preview of page 1 of 3 shown below):
The REIT Spreadsheet list in this article contains a list of publicly-traded Real Estate Investment Trusts.
However, this database is certainly not the only place to find high-quality dividend stocks trading at fair or better prices.
In fact, one of the best methods to find high-quality dividend stocks is looking for stocks with long histories of steadily rising dividend payments. Companies that have increased their payouts through many market cycles are highly likely to continue doing so for a long time to come.
You can see more high-quality dividend stocks in the following Sure Dividend databases, each based on long streaks of steadily rising dividend payments:
- Dividend Kings List: Dividend Stocks With 50+ Years of Rising Dividends
- The Highest Yielding Dividend Kings List: The 20 Dividend Kings with the highest current yields.
- Dividend Aristocrats List: 25+ Years of Rising Dividends
- The Highest Yielding Dividend Aristocrats List: The 20 Dividend Aristocrats with the highest current yields.
- Blue Chip Stocks List: Stocks that qualify as either Dividend Achievers, Dividend Aristocrats, or Dividend Kings.
- Dividend Champions List: 25+ years of rising dividends, that do not qualify as Dividend Aristocrats
- Dividend Achievers List: 10+ years of dividend increases
Alternatively, another great place to look for high-quality business is inside the portfolios of highly successful investors. By analyzing the portfolios of legendary investors running multi-billion dollar investment portfolios, we are able to indirectly benefit from their million-dollar research budgets and personal investing expertise.
To that end, Sure Dividend has created the following two articles:
You might also be looking to create a highly customized dividend income stream to pay for life’s expenses.
The following lists provide useful information on high dividend stocks and stocks that pay monthly dividends: