Retail has been doing great lately and may be poised to continue its gains. However, the best way to play the sector might not be to buy retail stocks. Instead, consider buying real estate stocks that would gain from retail’s success. With that in mind, Barron’s has run a piece choosing seven real estate stocks that will benefit from retail’s growth: Simon Property Group, Link REIT, Brixmor Property Group, Public Storage, and Mid-America Apartment Communities.
FINSUM: Make no mistake, these are deeply contrarian bets given the challenges mall and other retail REITs are facing. That said, if the strategy works, it may do so in a big way.
One of the important elements of last year’s tax changes that has not been covered much by the mainstream financial press is the way in which the new tax code proves a big boon for REITs. That big gain is that the effective tax rate on REITs has been slashed from 37% to just 29.6%, a big move downward. One REIT industry expert summed up the changes this way, saying “Now, REITs have even more of an advantage over fixed-income products … Seventy percent of REIT returns have historically come from income, so any relative pickup in income is a big benefit for investors”.
FINSUM: This seems like a big help to REIT investors, and it couldn’t have arrived at a better time given that rate rises will inevitable hurt REITs a bit.