Updated on September 7th, 2022 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: Industrial Logistics Properties Trust (ILPT)
#6: Office Properties Income Trust (OPI)
#5: Uniti Group (UNIT)
#4: Brandywine Real Estate (BDN)
#3: Medical Properties Trust (MPW)
#2: SL Green Realty (SLG)
#1: Innovative Industrial Properties Trust (IIPR)
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 cashflows 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 2021, net income was $359 million while FFO available to stockholders was above $1.4 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: Industrial Logistics Properties Trust (ILPT)
- Expected Total Return: 20.0%
- Dividend Yield: 0.6%
Industrial Logistics Properties Trust is a real estate investment trust that owns and leases industrial and logistics properties throughout the United States. After the acquisition of Monmouth Real Estate Investment, the company’s total portfolio comprises 412 properties.
Specifically, 226 of its properties are located on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, and the other 186 properties are located in 38 other states on the mainland. Therefore, around 29% of the company’s annualized revenues are sourced from Hawaii.
Source: Investor Presentation
On July 14th, Industrial Logistics Properties Trust essentially suspended its dividend, reducing it to a quarterly rate of $0.01. This was to enhance its liquidity until it completes its long term financing plan for the Monmouth acquisition. The company currently anticipates that its dividend will return to a rate at, or close to, its historical level sometime in 2023.
On July 26th, 2022, Industrial Logistics Properties Trust reported its Q2-2022 results for the period ending March 31st, 2022. Rental income came in at $71.8 million, 97.8% higher versus the prior-year period. The increase was due to a larger property portfolio following the acquisition of the previously publicly-listed Monmouth Real Estate. FFO was $28.3 million, 7.5% lower year-over-year, while FFO/share declined by four cents to $0.43.
The decline was attributable to the company taking on additional operating and interest expenses following the recent acquisition that weren’t absorbed by the higher rental income. That said, the company’s quarterly results continued to illustrate the high demand for logistics properties, which has been sustained amid the ongoing supply chain bottlenecks.
With a robust leasing momentum, occupancy stood at 99.3% at the end of Q2, retaining its sky-high levels sequentially. The company’s properties also featured a weighted average remaining lease term of around 22.7 years at the end of the quarter. This further illustrates tenants’ desire to secure long-term leases on their logistics properties.
Click here to download our most recent Sure Analysis report on ILPT (preview of page 1 of 3 shown below):
Top REIT #6: Office Properties Income Trust (OPI)
- Expected Total Return: 20.5%
- Dividend Yield: 12.3%
Office Properties Income Trust owns 178 buildings, which are primarily leased to single tenants with high credit quality. The REIT’s portfolio currently has a 94.3% occupancy rate and an average building age of 17 years. The U.S. Government is the largest tenant of OPI, as it represents 20% of the annual rental income of the REIT.
Source: Investor Presentation
In late July, OPI reported (7/28/2022) financial results for the second quarter of fiscal 2022. The occupancy rate grew sequentially from 91.2% to 94.3% thanks to strong leasing activity and asset sales. Normalized funds from operations (FFO) per share grew 6% over the prior year’s quarter, from $1.15 to $1.22.
OPI generates 64% of its annual rental income from investment-grade tenants. This is one of the highest percentages of rent paid by investment-grade tenants in the REIT sector. Moreover, U.S. Government tenants generate about 20% of total rental income and no other tenant accounts for more than 4% of annual income. This exceptional credit profile constitutes a meaningful competitive advantage.
On the other hand, OPI has greatly increased its debt load after its latest acquisition. Its net debt is excessive, as it stands at $2.4 billion, which is about 11 times the annual funds from operations and 2.5 times as much as the current market capitalization of the REIT. Fortunately, OPI is in the process of selling assets and hence it is likely to drive its leverage to healthier levels in the near future.
Click here to download our most recent Sure Analysis report on OPI (preview of page 1 of 3 shown below):
Top REIT #5: Uniti Group (UNIT)
- Expected Total Return: 20.6%
- Dividend Yield: 6.6%
Uniti Group focuses on acquiring, constructing, and leasing out communications infrastructure in the United States. In particular, it owns millions of miles of fiber strand along with other communications real estate. In its recent past it has faced challenges due to its largest tenant filing for bankruptcy and renegotiating its lease with Uniti. However, the REIT is now on firmer footing and is pursuing growth opportunities.
Source: Investor Presentation
On August 4th, Uniti Group reported Q2 results. AFFO per share increased 11.3% to $0.44 year-over-year. Net income stood at $0.21 per diluted share, up by 8.3% per diluted share year-over-year. Revenue grew 5.9% to $283.98 million year-over-year. Adjusted EBITDA increased 5.3% to $227.2 million from $215.7 million in the year-ago period. Uniti reported total costs and expenses of $225.7 million, up from $214.0 million in the year-ago period.
Moreover, unrestricted cash and cash equivalents, and undrawn borrowing availability under its revolving credit agreement stood at ~$361.4 million at quarter-end. Meanwhile, the company raised its FY2022 adjusted EBITDA guidance to $887 million to $905 million, and 2022 revenue to $1.12 billion to $1.14 billion.
Click here to download our most recent Sure Analysis report on UNIT (preview of page 1 of 3 shown below):
Top REIT #4: Brandywine Real Estate (BDN)
- Expected Total Return: 20.7%
- Dividend Yield: 9.3%
Brandywine Realty Trust owns, develops, leases and manages an urban, town center and transit-oriented portfolio which includes 168 properties in Philadelphia, Austin and Washington, D.C. The REIT generates 74% of its operating income in Philadelphia, 22% of its operating income in Austin and the remaining 4% in Washington, D.C.
As Brandywine Realty Trust generates the vast portion of its operating income in Philadelphia and Austin, it is worth noting the advantages of these two areas. According to official reports, Philadelphia has the highest growth rate of highly educated citizens since 2008 while Austin is the fastest-growing metropolitan area, the best place to start business and it has retrieved all the jobs lost due to the pandemic.
In late July, Brandywine Realty Trust reported (7/25/22) financial results for the second quarter of fiscal 2022. Occupancy edged up sequentially from 89.4% to 89.6% and its funds from operations (FFO) per share remained flat at $0.35, just $0.01 above the analysts’ consensus. The REIT has posted the same FFO per share for four consecutive quarters. In addition, due to the impact of rising interest rates on interest expense, management lowered its guidance for 2022, from FFO per share of $1.37-$1.45 to $1.36-$1.40
Brandywine Realty Trust is offering an above-average 9.3% dividend yield. Given the solid payout ratio of 54%, the dividend looks enticing on the surface. However, it is important to note that the REIT operates with a nosebleed leverage ratio (Net Debt to EBITDA) of 7.0. It also has a heavy schedule of debt maturities until the end of 2024. As a result, the dividend is likely to come under pressure in the event of an unforeseen downturn.
The high debt load is probably the primary reason behind the freeze of the dividend for 14 consecutive quarters. Moreover, Brandywine Realty Trust is sensitive to recessions due to its weak balance sheet and the sensitivity of its tenants to recessions.
Still, we expect annual returns above 20%, driven by the 9.3% dividend yield, expected FFO-per-share growth of 3%, and a sizable boost from an expanding valuation multiple.
Click here to download our most recent Sure Analysis report on BDN (preview of page 1 of 3 shown below):
Top REIT #3: Medical Properties Trust (MPW)
- Expected Total Return: 21.0%
- Dividend Yield: 8.2%
Medical Properties Trust is the only pure-play hospital REIT today. It owns a well-diversified portfolio of over 400 properties which are leased to over 30 different operators. The great majority of the assets are general acute care hospitals, but show some diversification into other specialty hospitals, including inpatient rehabilitation and long-term acute care.
The portfolio of assets is also well diversified across different geographies with properties in 29 states to mitigate the risk of demand and supply imbalances in individual markets. On top of its US portfolio, Medical Properties maintains a strategic exposure to key European markets, including Germany, the UK, Italy, and Australia.
Medical Properties reported Q2 results on August 3rd, 2022. Net income for the quarter stood at $0.32, up from $0.19 in the year-ago period. Normalized funds from operations (NFFO) came in at $0.46, up from $0.43 cents in the year-ago quarter. The company also reported that it has acquired three radiotherapy facilities in Spain for €27 million in May, signed an agreement to develop a behavioral health facility in McKinney, Texas in July, and acquired a hospital in Colombia for $26 million in late July.
Moreover, the company also amended its credit facility during the quarter updating the capacity to $2.0 billion and extending the revolver maturity dates and term loan to June 2026 and June 2027, respectively. Meanwhile, the trust still expects 2022 normalized funds from operations per share of $1.78 to $1.82, while 2022 net income of $1.88 to $1.92. Finally, revenue increased 4.8% to $400.22 million.
Click here to download our most recent Sure Analysis report on MPW (preview of page 1 of 3 shown below):
Top REIT #2: SL Green Realty (SLG)
- Expected Total Return: 22.7%
- Dividend Yield: 8.2%
SL Green Realty Corp was formed in 1980. It is an integrated real estate investment trust (REIT) that is focused on acquiring, managing, and maximizing the value of Manhattan commercial properties. It is Manhattan’s largest office landlord, and currently owns 73 buildings totaling 35 million square feet.
It is Manhattan’s largest office landlord, and currently owns 73 buildings totaling 35 million square feet.
Source: Investor Presentation
In mid-July, SLG reported (7/20/2022) financial results for the second quarter of fiscal 2022. Its occupancy rate slipped from 92.7% at the end of the previous quarter to 92.0%, but its same-store net operating income grew 6.7% over the prior year’s quarter.
Given also a benefit of $0.14 per share from assets purchases and sales, its funds from operations (FFO) per share grew 17% over the prior year’s quarter, from $1.60 to $1.87. The REIT exceeded the analysts’ consensus by $0.17. During the quarter, SLG signed 39 Manhattan office leases for a total of 188,822 square feet.
We expect annual returns of 22.7% going forward, comprised of 5% expected earnings growth, the 8.2% dividend yield, and a ~9.5% annual boost from an expanding P/FFO multiple.
Click here to download our most recent Sure Analysis report on SLG (preview of page 1 of 3 shown below):
Top REIT #1: Innovative Industrial Properties (IIPR)
- Expected Total Return: 28.7%
- Dividend Yield: 7.8%
Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc. is a single-use “specialty REIT” that exclusively focuses on owning properties used for the cultivation and production of marijuana. Because the industry is in the midst of a legal transition, there are constraints on capital available to businesses engaged in the marijuana business.
The ongoing legalization of cannabis in the US has led to stunning returns and portfolio growth. The $2.8 billion REIT owns 110 properties in 19 states. Amid the cannabis boom over the past few years, as well as its exclusivity in terms of the listing giving the trust access to public markets, Innovate Industrial Properties remains one of the fastest-growing REITs in the world.
Source: Investor Presentation
On March 14th, 2022, Innovative Industrial increased its dividend by 16.7% to a quarterly rate of $1.75. The 16.7% increase compares to the previous quarter. Year-over-year, it implies an increase of 32.5%.
On August 3rd, 2022, Innovative Industrial announced its Q2 earnings for the period ending June 30th, 2022. For the quarter, revenues and normalized AFFO/share were $70.5 million and $2.14, an increase of 44.1%, and 30.4%, respectively. The company delivered another quarter of very high growth, with another four acquisitions completed during the quarter. Contractual rental escalations at certain properties also boosted results.
As of May 4th, 100% of IIPR’s properties were leased with a weighted-average remaining lease term of approximately 16 years, close to the previous quarter, which is once again very impressive. With its tenants enjoying resilient marijuana demand amid growing consumption, the company collected 99% of its contractual rent due for Q2.
Click here to download our most recent Sure Analysis report on IIPR (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: