real estate investment trust (REITis a company that owns, and in most cases, operates income-producing real estate. REITs own many types of commercial real estate, ranging from office and apartment buildings to warehouses, hospitals, shopping centers, hotels and even timberlands. Some REITs also engage in financing real estate. Created by the U.S. Congress in 1960, REITs were designed to provide a real estate investment structure similar to the structure mutual funds provide for investment in stocks. REITs are strong income vehicles because REITs must pay out at least 90 percent of their taxable income in the form of dividends to shareholders

REITs can be publicly traded on major exchanges, public but non-listed or private. The two main types of REITs are Equity REITs and Mortgage REITs. In November 2014, Equity REITs were recognized as a distinct asset class in the Global Industry Classification Standard by S&P Dow Jones Indices and MSCI. The key statistics to examine in a REIT are net asset value (NAV), funds from operations (FFO), and adjusted funds from operations (AFFO).

Learn now how to apprise the real value of a real estate asset