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The Benefits of Real Estate Investment Trusts

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Real estate investment trusts (REIT) can be reliable and well-managed stocks, according to Forbes Real Estate Investor editor Brad Thomas, and interest in these stocks are growing rapidly. In a piece on Forbes, Thomas discussed the benefits of the REIT, noting the larger dividends, despite how slow REIT investments tend to be.

“That last quality gives investors their choice between keeping that additional income or reinvesting the money back into their positions,” Thomas said.

“Those are the good sides to real estate investment trusts. The downside, you could say, is that they’re not exactly going to make you rich overnight.”

Shopping for the right REIT takes time, and buying them takes faith, according to Thomas, but the returns can be high. Real-estate investment trusts that buy residential home loans increased their mortgage-bond portfolios by almost 28% to $308 billion over the 12 months through March, according to The Wall Street Journal’s Ben Eisen.

Though these firms are small compared to the mortgage market as a whole, Eisen notes that some analysts express concern that they are putting more of the mortgage market into the hands of leveraged firms with minimal oversight, noting that some risky REITs went bust during the last financial crisis. However, some suggest that REITs make up an optimal backbone for the mortgage market, leveraging less risk than before the financial crisis and able to quickly raise and deploy money when they see an opportunity.

“If you want to have more private capital in the market, you need to manage the risks,” Calvin Schnure, SVP for Research and Economic Analysis at Nareit, told the Journal. “Mortgage REITs hedge all of those risks.”

REITs have been buying mortgages traditionally within the domain of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, putting them into private mortgage bonds, while also buying securities from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that transfer default risk associated with the mortgages they back.

About Author: Seth Welborn

Seth Welborn is a Staff Reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of Harding University, he has covered numerous topics across the real estate and default servicing industries. Additionally, he has written B2B marketing copy for Dallas-based companies such as AT&T. An East Texas Native, he also works part-time as a photographer.
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