2020 List Of All REITs | 166 Publicly-Traded REITs Sure Dividend

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2020 List Of All REITs | 166 Publicly-Traded REITs

Updated on October 15th, 2020 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:

You can download your free REIT list (along with the above mentioned financial metrics) 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 10-ranked REITs today.

Table Of Contents

In addition to the full downloadable Excel spreadsheet, this article covers our top 10 REITs today, as ranked using expected total returns from The Sure Analysis Research Database.

The list is narrowed down further based on a qualitative assessment of business model strength, growth potential, and an analysis of debt levels. The top 10 list is ranked by 5-year expected total returns, in order of lowest to highest.

The table of contents below allows for easy navigation.

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.

REIT Landing Page Excel Document 1

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.

REIT Landing Page Excel Document 2

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.

This trend is shown below.

REITs Persistently High Dividend Yields

Source: NAREIT: The Investor’s Guide to REITs

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).

One might think that the high payout ratios of REITs would result in inferior total return performance compared to their peers (even though they have high dividend yields).

This is not the case. According to MSCI, which compiles and tracks the index, the MSCI US REIT Index generated total annual returns of 10.6% per year since December 30, 1994. It outperformed the MSCI USA Investable Market Index (IMI), its parent index that tracks the large, mid and small cap segments of the USA market, by approximately 60 basis points per year in the same period.


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 its cash flow.

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-FFO reconciliation from a recent earnings release of Realty Income (O), one of the largest and most popular REIT securities.

Source: Realty Income Earnings Release

In the 2019 fourth quarter, net income per unit was $0.39 per share while FFO per unit was $0.85, 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 10 REITs Today

Below we have ranked our top 10 REITs today based on qualitative strength and total return potential. These stocks have positive expected rates of return over the next five years, and high dividend yields which make them appealing for income investors.

Added emphasis has been placed on dividend sustainability, which is even more important for investors to take into account during the coronavirus crisis, as it has had a particularly large impact on REITs. The stocks are listed in order of attractiveness based on a combination of qualitative and quantitative factors, such as future growth potential, dividend yield, and dividend safety.

Top REIT #10: Essex Property Trust (ESS)

Essex Property Trust invests in west coast multi-family residential proprieties where it engages in development, redevelopment, management and acquisition of apartment communities and a few other select properties. Approximately 83% of Essex’s net operating income is derived from California, with the remaining 17% from Seattle. Essex has ownership interests in 245 apartment communities consisting of over 60,000 apartment homes.

Source: Investor Presentation

In the 2020 second quarter, core FFO per diluted share declined to $3.16 during Q2 from $3.33 in the year-ago period. This represented a 5% year-over-year decline. All things considered, this was a relatively impressive performance for Essex, as the U.S. economy fell into a deep recession over the course of 2020.

Excluding delinquencies, same-property revenue would have declined by 0.9% and NOI would have fallen by 3.5%. Again, these are relatively modest declines, which give investors hope that the company will quickly recover once the broader economy improves.

Essex Property Trust has generated impressive growth over the course of its history. According to the company, Essex produced 8.4% annual FFO-per-share growth, along with 6.4% annual dividend growth since its IPO. This growth has come due to the company’s strong property portfolio. The U.S. West Coast has high economic output (California and Washington combined would have the 5th highest GDP in the world) as well as limited supply.

Essex Property Trust has achieved impressive growth for several decades, on the back of the strong west coast property market. We expect Essex to bounce back quickly due to the premier locations in which it owns properties. A strong balance sheet also helps the company reach its growth objectives. The trust has a solid BBB+ credit rating which is high for a REIT.

The stock has a 4.0% current dividend yield, and the company has increased its dividend for 26 consecutive years, placing it on the exclusive list of Dividend Aristocrats. Its most recent dividend increase was a solid 6.5% raise in February. Based on projected FFO-per-share of $11.85 for 2020, Essex has a dividend payout ratio of approximately 70% for the full year. The dividend is highly secure.

Top REIT #9: Digital Realty (DLR)

Digital Realty Trust is another attractive REIT because of the unique safety it offers during the coronavirus crisis. Digital Realty owns and develops properties for the technology industry. Digital Realty’s properties are a combination of data centers that store and process information, technology manufacturing sites, and Internet gateway data centers which allow major metro areas to transmit data.

On March 13th, 2020 Digital Realty announced that it had completed the combination of Interxion (prior ticker: INXN),a provider of cloud data centers in Europe. Legacy INXN shareholders now own ~20% of the new Digital Realty. This acquisition meaningfully expanded the company’s international reach.

Source: Investor Presentation

On July 30th, 2020 Digital Realty reported second-quarter results. For the quarter Digital Realty’s revenue came in at $993 million, representing a 24% increase compared to Q2 2019, aided by the Interxion acquisition. Net income available to stockholders totaled $54 million or $0.20 per share compared to $0.15 previously. The REIT’s core funds-from-operations (FFO) came in at $1.54 compared to $1.64 in Q2 2019.

Digit Realty also updated its 2020 outlook. The company now expects $3.725 billion to $3.825 billion in revenue (unchanged); $2.10 billion to $2.125 billion in Adjusted EBITDA (up from $2.075 billion to $2.125 billion); 85% to 86% occupancy (unchanged); $1.20 to $1.25 in net income per share (down from $1.60 to $1.75); and $6.00 to $6.10 in core funds from operations (up from $5.90 to $6.10).

These results would indicate another very successful year, which is particularly impressive given the struggles of the broader REIT industry.

Since 2010 Digital Realty increased its FFO-per-share by an average compound rate of 7.8% per year. The trust’s growth rate is especially impressive considering that it has increased its share count every single year during this time frame. Digital Realty has been very strategic in its acquisitions. For example, in 2017 Digital Realty purchased DuPont Fabros Technology, another tech-focused REIT. More recently, Digital Realty added Interxion, gaining exposure to the European cloud industry.

Digital Realty’s dividend payout ratio (using FFO instead of earnings) is comparatively low for a REIT, projected at 74% for 2020. This should give shareholders confidence that the dividend is safe even if the market were to enter a downturn. Digital Realty’s chief competitive advantage is that it is among the largest technology REITs in the world. This gives the REIT a size and scale advantage that competitors have difficulty matching.

Top REIT #8: SL Green Realty (SLG)

SL Green is an integrated REIT that is focused on acquiring, managing, and maximizing the value of Manhattan commercial properties. It is Manhattan’s largest office landlord, with a market capitalization of $3.5 billion, and currently owns 96 buildings totaling 41 million square feet.

Source: Investor Presentation

In late July, SLG reported (7/22/2020) financial results for the second quarter of fiscal 2020. The REIT grew its same-store net operating income by 2% over last year’s quarter and slightly improved its occupancy rate, from 94.8% to 95.2%. However, its funds from operations (FFO) per share decreased 7%, from $1.82 to $1.70, primarily due to losses from debt investments that were sold.

In the quarter, the REIT collected 95.7% of total billings for office, 69.6% of billings for retail and 90.7% of total billings. These figures decreased in July, as SLG collected 91.7% of total billings for office, 61.5% of billings for retail and 87.0% of total billings.

SLG has been significantly affected by the coronavirus crisis, which has caused a recession and thus has hurt several tenants. As per the feedback received from its tenants, management expects its office tenants to work from home at a 50% rate in September. However, SLG has observed improved trends lately and expects to achieve funds from operations per share of $6.60-$7.10 this year.

SLG benefits from reliable growth in rental rates in one of the most popular commercial areas in the world, Manhattan. The REIT pursues growth by acquiring attractive properties and raising rental rates in its existing properties. It also signs multi-year contracts (7-15 years) with its tenants in order to secure reliable cash flows. SLG has grown its funds from operations per share at a 4.1% average annual rate in the last decade and at a 3.6% annual rate in the last five years.

Due to the effect of the pandemic on its business, funds from operations have stumbled this year but they have remained fairly resilient. We expect SLG to grow its funds from operations per share at a 3.0% average annual rate over the next five years.

SLG is currently under pressure due to the pandemic, which has caused a severe recession and a work-from-home trend. However, the REIT has one of the strongest balance sheets in the REIT universe, as its net debt of $6.0 billion is just about 10 times its annual funds from operations. This helps explain the strong BBB credit rating.

Thanks to its financial strength, the REIT can endure the ongoing crisis and emerge stronger whenever the pandemic subsides. It can also maintain its dividend, which is well-covered with a healthy payout ratio of 51% expected for 2020.

Top REIT #7: Federal Realty Investment Trust (FRT)

Federal Realty is a shopping center REIT. It concentrates in high-income, densely-populated coastal markets in the US, allowing it to charge more per square foot than its competition.

Its biggest claims to fame are its A-rated balance sheet (making it one of the most conservative investments in the REIT sector) and 53 straight years of growing its dividend (the longest streak among REITs) at a highly impressive CAGR of 7%. Federal Realty is on the exclusive list of Dividend Kings.

As a retail REIT, Federal Realty has been negatively impacted by the coronavirus crisis. But it continues to generate positive FFO and pay dividends to shareholders, thanks to a high-quality and diversified property portfolio.

Source: Investor Presentation

Federal Realty’s competitive advantages include its superior development pipeline, its focus on high-income, high-density areas and its decades of experience in running a world-class REIT. These qualities allow it to perform admirably, and continue growing even in a recession.

The company reported weak second-quarter results, not surprisingly because of the coronavirus pandemic. FFO declined 52% from the same quarter a year ago. The portfolio was 93% leased as of June 30th. However, investors are hoping the bottom is in.

Approximately 87% of Federal Realty’s commercial tenants were open and operating as of July 31st based on annualized base rent, compared with 47% on May 1st. As of July 31st, the company collected 68% of second-quarter billed recurring rents, and 76% for July 2020. Federal Realty also increased its dividend for the 53rd year in a row.

Federal Realty believes that its portfolio of flexible retail-based properties located in strategically selected major markets that are transit-oriented, first ring suburban locations will continue to thrive for the foreseeable future. This is because these markets’ superior income and population characteristics, significant barriers to entry, and strong demand characteristics will drive strong long-term rent growth.

Furthermore, by keeping the portfolio at a manageable size and restrained to a limited number of core markets, management can give each asset the necessary focus to drive out-performance. In response to the coronavirus-related shutdowns, the company is boosting its liquidity to help it get through the coronavirus crisis. Federal Realty drew $990 million of its $1 billion revolving credit facility in March.

Top REIT #6: Crown Castle International (CCI)

Crown Castle International was founded in 1994,and has since become a powerhouse in the data infrastructure business. It is structured as a REIT that owns cell phone towers with small cells where larger towers are not feasible, and fiber connections for data transmission. The trust owns, operates and leases more than 40,000 cell towers and 80,000 route miles of fiber across every major US market, helping it support data infrastructure across the country.

Crown Castle reported second quarter earnings on July 29th, with revenue coming in line with expectations, while profits slightly beat consensus. Site rental revenues rose 5.6% due to 9.4% growth in new leasing activity, partially offset by a -3.8% decline from non-renewals. Adjusted funds-from-operations rose 3% year-over-year to $1.45.

Crown Castle has a positive long-term growth outlook, which sets it apart from many other REITs which are struggling right now.

Source: Investor Presentation

Crown Castle’s cash flow per share –defined as the sum of earnings plus depreciation, minus preferred dividends –has shown robust levels of growth over the past decade. It has managed to grow per-share cash flow at double-digit rates annually for the past ten years, despite relatively weaker results for the past three years.

We forecast 6% annual growth in cash flow moving forward. Crown Castle can achieve this growth through continued organic revenue increases in the low-to mid-single-digits, a bit of margin expansion as it boosts organic revenue and integrates acquisitions, as well as new revenue purchased from acquisitions.

Its robust cash flow generation will afford it the opportunity to continue to grow, as well as pay the dividend. The future is still bright as consumers demand more and more access to data over time. In addition, its portfolio is centered in metropolitan areas with favorable long-term demand.

Crown Castle does not have the highest dividend yield among REITs, but it makes up for this with a high level of dividend safety as well as growth potential. The company should be able to maintain its dividend even in a recession, as consumers are not likely to give up their smartphones even in an economic downturn.

Top REIT #5: W.P. Carey (WPC)

W.P. Carey is a commercial real estate focused REIT that operates two segments: real estate ownership and investment management. The REIT operates more than 1,200 single tenant properties on a net lease basis, across the US and Northern and Western Europe. Its asset management business has AUM of approximately $2.8 billion.

W.P. Carey has a highly diversified real estate property portfolio across multiple various industry groups.

Source: Investor Presentation

W. P. Carey reported its second quarter earnings results on July 31st. Revenue of $291 million declined 5% year-over-year. Adjusted FFO declined 6.6% due to the impact of the coronavirus on rent collection. However, the company increased its quarterly dividend by 0.2% in June.

Like many other REITs, W. P. Carey withdrew its guidance for 2020, citing the coronavirus crisis and the unknown impact it will have on its operations. So far, W.P. Carey is weathering the storm relatively well. W.P. Carey had a high occupancy rate of 98.9% in the second quarter. Trends have remained steady since then, with the company reporting 96% rent collection for the second quarter and 98% for July.

W. P. Carey generated FFO-per-share growth at a rate of 6% annually between 2009 and 2019, which was a very solid growth rate for a real estate investment trust. The growth rate has slowed down over the years, as W. P. Carey’s FFO-per-share growth rate has averaged just 3% between 2014 and 2018. Still, this is a decent growth rate, and we expect a similar growth rate of 3%-4% annually going forward.

Growth is fueled by investments in new properties. Since 2012, the REIT invested more than $10 billion into new assets by either purchasing entire REITs or through single-asset/portfolio purchases. Plus, due to the defensive nature of its business and a strong performance during past recessions, we believe that W.P. Carey will navigate the coronavirus crisis.

W.P. Carey has an investment grade credit rating of BBB from Standard & Poor’s. It has a fairly low level of maturities ($768 million) through 2022. It also has a long history of stable dividend growth, having increased its dividend every year since 1998.

Top REIT #4: Omega Healthcare Investors (OHI)

Omega Healthcare Investors is one of the premier skilled nursing focused healthcare REITs. It also generates about 20% of its annual revenue from senior housing developments. The company’s three main selling points are its financial, portfolio, and management strength. Specifically, Omega is the leader in Skilled Nursing Facilities.

Source: Investor Presentation

Omega reported second-quarter financial results on August 5th, with results coming in better than expected on both the top and bottom lines. Revenue came to $256 million, easily beating consensus of $218 million, up from $225 million in the year-ago period. The trust collected over 99% of its contractual rent and mortgage payments for July, excluding Daybreak, which is in forbearance.

Operating expenses were $113 million, up from $99 million in the year-ago period. The trust said occupancy and facility costs had been meaningfully impacted by COVID-19, and that while deterioration in financial metrics has slowed, that it couldn’t yet conclude that the bottom had been seen.Adjusted funds-from-operations per share came to $0.81, beating estimates of $0.76 , and up from $0.79 in the first quarter of this year.

The portfolio benefits from a favorable near-term supply and demand outlook. It also has no material upcoming lease expirations or lease renewal risk and enjoys strong geographic and operator diversification (71 operators across 40 states plus the United Kingdom). Omega also has an investment-grade credit rating of BBB-.

While uncertainties over the future of the healthcare system in the United States remain and some of its tenants are not financially strong, the company’s exposure to a growing segment of healthcare combined with a high dividend yield, make the stock a recession-resistant buy.

Top REIT #3: Iron Mountain (IRM)

Iron Mountain is a storage and information management REIT. Its services include record management, destruction, fulfillment services, data protection and recovery, server and computer backup services, and safeguarding of electronic and physical media. Iron Mountain operates in North and Latin America, Europe and the Asia Pacific region.

Iron Mountain reported its second-quarter earnings results on August 3rd. Revenues of $1.07 billion increased 1.9% from the previous year’s quarter. Revenues would have been higher by 3.2% year-over-year at constant forex rates. FFO came in at $0.59 per share during the first quarter, which was up 20% compared to the previous year’s quarter, although the company benefited from a favorable comparison.

Iron Mountain withdrew its previously announced guidance for 2020. During the first quarter, the virus crisis did not have a meaningful impact, and the operating performance was quite solid. Iron Mountain benefits from a high-quality business model, which continues to see steady demand.

Source: Investor Presentation

Iron Mountain is not a high-growth investment trust, but it still managed to increase its cash flows per share by 3% annually since 2009. Growth has been driven by several contributing factors. The first one is organic revenue growth, primarily through pricing increases. Iron Mountain has achieved organic revenue growth rates of ~3% in the past, and guides for organic revenue growth of 3% to 5% annually in the future.

Iron Mountain’s focus on secure data storage sets the trust aside from competitors in the storage industry by providing a unique focus. The trust is active in several geographic markets across the US and internationally, and plans to expand its international operations further.

This geographic diversification, coupled with the fact that demand for its services is not very cyclical, means that Iron Mountain is relatively resilient to recessions, which should help during the current crisis. Cash flows continued to grow during the last financial crisis, resulting in a strong recession performance.

Top REIT #2: STAG Industrial, Inc. (STAG)

STAG Industrial is the only pure-play industrial REIT active across the entire domestic industrial real estate market. It is focused on single-tenant industrial properties and has ~450 buildings across 38 states in the United States.

As per the latest data, 55% of the tenants are publicly rated and 33% of the tenants are rated “investment grade.” The company typically does business with established tenants to reduce risk. It also pursues broad geographic and tenant diversification to further reduce risk.

STAG has an added advantage due to the company’s exposure to e-commerce properties, which gives it access to a key growth segment in real estate.

Source: Investor Presentation

In the 2020 second quarter, core FFO-per-share increased 4.4% over last year’s quarter thanks to the strength of the industrial market. Same-store cash NOI increased 2.1% year-over-year. As of July 28th, the company collected 98.0% of second quarter base rental billings. During the quarter, the REIT achieved an occupancy rate of 97.0%.

The coronavirus has hurt shipping and by extension the industrial REIT sector. Furthermore, the industrial sector is typically fairly cyclical and therefore suffers during recessions. However, STAG possesses strong regionally based asset management teams with capital projects groups that enable them to engage in value add opportunities to continue growing the portfolio and its cash flow regardless of market conditions. Furthermore, it only owns ~0.5% of the assets in its target universe, giving it an enormous growth runway.

The company recently notified investors that tenants that have requested rent relief equal to just ~1% of annual base rent, a promising figure that indicates STAG is holding up relatively well during the coronavirus crisis. The company has also paused acquisitions to preserve cash in this uncertain environment.

So far, STAG’s key financial metrics are holding up well. High occupancy and rent collection bodes well for the sustainability of the company’s dividend payout. STAG is not the highest-yielding REIT around at less than 5%, but in return it offers a sustainable dividend.

Top REIT #1: Realty Income (O)

Realty Income is a retail-focused REIT that owns more than 6,500 properties. Realty Income owns retail properties that are not part of a wider retail development (such as a mall), but instead are standalone properties. This means that the properties are viable for many different tenants, including government services, healthcare services, and entertainment. Realty Income is a large-cap stock with a market capitalization above $21 billion.

Realty Income leaps to the top spot on the list, because of its highly impressive dividend history, which is unmatched among the other monthly dividend stocks. Realty Income has declared over 600 consecutive monthly dividend payments without interruption, and has increased its dividend 107 times since its initial public offering in 1994. Realty Income is a member of the Dividend Aristocrats.

The company’s long history of dividend payments and increases is due to its high-quality business model and diversified property portfolio.

Source: Investor Presentation

In the 2020 second quarter, AFFO per share increased 4.9% to $0.86 year-over-year. Realty Income collected 86.5% of contractual rent across the total portfolio. AFFO growth was due to a combination of rental increases at existing properties, as well as contributions from new properties.

The company will see a negative impact from coronavirus in 2020, but it has taken aggressive action to shore up its financial position to weather the storm. Realty Income raised $754 million in the first quarter through the sale of stock. Total liquidity available as of July 1, 2020 was approximately $2.7 billion, consisting mostly of $2.4 billion of remaining borrowing capacity available on the revolving credit facility. Therefore, we expect the company to make it through the coronavirus with its dividend intact.

Final Thoughts

The Complete REIT Spreadsheet List contains a list of all publicly-traded Real Estate Investment Trusts.

Bonus: Listen to our interview with Brad Thomas on The Sure Investing Podcast about intelligent REIT investing in the below video.


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:

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 two lists provide useful information on high dividend stocks and stocks that pay monthly dividends:

Thanks for reading this article. Please send any feedback, corrections, or questions to support@suredividend.com.

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