Displaying items by tag: reits
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.
REITs are a tough area to invest in right now. On the one hand they look vulnerable because of the rising rate environment, but they have also surged recently at the same time as offering enticing dividends for investors. The answer, then, may be to find undervalued REITs, and Barron’s has put out an article helping to do just that. Here are some REITs the publication highlights: Invitation Homes, Front Yard Residential, Digital Realty Trust, InterXion Holding, LaSalle Hotel Properties, and Extended Stay America.
FINSUM: REITs tend to have very good dividends, but tend to suffer during periods of rising rates because of this. They seem like a good source of income right now, but need to be chosen very carefully.
A REIT as an ETF might be an odd concept for some advisors. Since REITS are a special asset class unto themselves, and ETF made up of them could seem foreign. Their big advantage is that they are much cheaper than actively managed real estate strategies. However, risks abound, especially as many REITs tend to focus only on the US market, which could be very risky at the moment. One good REIT ETF is the Schwab US REIT, which has returned over 5% this year despite rising rates, and sports a 4%+ yield. Schwab points out that one of the best parts of REITS is that they “do not move in lockstep with either stocks or bonds.” The Vanguard Real Estate ETF is another good REIT choice. For global exposure try the SPDR Dow Jones Global Real Estate.
FINSUM: We like REITs in principal, but rates are a big worry at the moment. They seem like a good way to earn yield right now, but should probably be hedged.
If you are an investor looking for safe yields, look no further than this handful of high-yielding stocks. All three stocks presented here have yields over 5%. That level may prove a key defensive barrier, as shares with yields that lofty are less likely to be affected by rate rises. The three stocks are REIT EPR Properties (6.2% yield), healthcare company Welltower (5.2%), and property giant Brookfield Property Partners (6%+ yield).
FINSUM: Brookfield, in particular, seems like a good buy, as its business looks very strong and it is trading at a big discount versus the value of its real estate holdings.
The US commercial and residential real estate markets have been headed in opposite directions for a little while now, with the former looking weak and the latter looking strong. However, new data suggests that US residential real estate now looks headed for its worst downturn in years. The market is suffering from heavy prices and rising rates, which are constraining buyers. Those realities are now starting to play out in the data, as the latest US market info shows that existing home sales dropped in June (for the third straight month), new home purchases are at their slowest pace in eight months, and inventory is finally starting to increase. Annual price gains in May were also their slowest in almost a year and a half.
FINSUM: It is still early days to predict a big downturn, but these three data points are a big warning sign. We are especially paying attention to rising inventory, as really tight supply has been the hallmark of the market for at least five years.