5 Best REIT Stocks to Buy for Q3 2024

Our stock market experts have investigated the best real estate investment trusts to buy in 2024. This guide explains more about REITs and which stocks you should buy.
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Updated: Jul 5, 2024

Real Estate Investment Trusts (REIT) are some of the most popular assets among income-focused investors. Because of how they are structured, these REITs must distribute their annual profits to investors, which makes them have higher yields than other companies.

REITs are ideal as complements for other growth assets like the Invesco QQQ (QQQ) and the Schwab US Large-Cap Growth ETF (SCHG). While these growth funds provide strong stock returns, REITs bring regular income to shareholders.

For example, a REIT yielding 10% will bring $10,000 annually for every $100,000 invested in it, which is a substantial return. So, here are the best REITs to buy in 2024.

What are the top REIT stocks to buy?

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Below, you can find a table containing our current top five real estate investment trusts based on recent performance, prospects, level of diversfication, and many other key factors. If you want more information about the latest price of each REIT, click on the stock symbol link.

#Stock symbolCompany nameLearn more
1NLYAnnaly Capital Management Inc.Learn more >
2WPCW.P. CareyLearn more >
3AMTAmerican Tower CorporationLearn more >
4WYWeyerHaeuser CompanyLearn more >
5GMREGlobal Medical REIT Inc.Learn more >
List chosen by our team of analysts, updated July 2024

1. Annaly Capital Management Inc. (NYSE: NLY)

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  • Market cap: $9.8 billion
  • Dividend yield: 13.17%
  • 1-year return: -0.3%
  • Country: USA
  • Stock price: $19.7

Annaly Capital Management is one of the best REIT stocks to invest in. In addition to its 13% dividend yield, the company has a long track record of rewarding its investors. Its business is made up of three key businesses, including the agency group, residential credit, and mortgage servicing rights group.

The past few years have been challenging ones for Annaly Capital as interest rates have remanded significantly higher. As a result, its stock has tumbled by over 57%, making it one of the worst-performing REITs in the market. 

It has crashed by over 45% in the past five years, a move that has been offset by its strong dividend payouts. As a result, the company’s total return stood at 3.47% in this period. 

Annaly Capital will likely benefit when interest rates start falling in the coming months. Most analysts expect that the Fed will start slashing rates either later this year or early in 2024. 

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2.W.P. Carey (NYSE: WPC)

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  • Market cap: $12.3 billion
  • Dividend yield: 6.8%
  • 1-year return: -18.9%
  • Country: USA
  • Stock price: $56.2

W.P. Carey is another top REIT stock to invest in. It is a leading company that has gone through major changes in the past few months. As I have written before, the company decided to shed some of its riskiest assets by spinning off its office business. The office business is going through challenges because of high interest rates, the wall of maturities, and the higher vacancy rates.

W.P Carey’s actions led to a dividend reset or cut, which is often seen as a bad thing. Still, the remaining company has become a better and more streamlined company with low vacancy rates. It also has a big dividend yield compared to its peers and is quite undervalued as it trades at a price-to-FFO ratio of 11.8.

Most importantly, WPC has a bg business in Europe, a continent that has started to cut interest rates. This means that it can access low-interest rates borrowing, which it can use to acquire properties or finance its business. 

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3. American Tower Corporation (NYSE: AMT)

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  • Market cap: $90.7 billion
  • Dividend yield: 3.35%
  • 1-year return: 1.74%
  • Country: USA
  • Stock price: $194

American Tower Corporation is one of the biggest REITs in the US with a market cap of over $90.7 billion. The firm provides global communication infrastructure in 20 countries like the United States, France, Germany, Spain, Kenya, and Nigeria.

American Tower provides towers to telecommunication companies and earn payments every month. This makes it one of the most dependable businesses because it experiences little churn from its customers.

The company’s revenue has been growing in the past few years. It has moved from over $7.5 billion in 2019 to over $11.1 billion in 2023. It also has higher margins, with its total net profit coming in at $1.48 billion.

American Tower, unlike Annaly and W.P Carey, does not have a high dividend yield. Nonetheless, it compensates this by having strong stock growth. Its shares have jumped by over 125% in the past decade.

However, there are concerns about its valuation as the company trades at a price/FFO ratio of 18.50. It is also highly leveraged with over $47 billion in total debt, which could limit how much it expands its locations.

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4.Weyerhaeuser Company (NYSE: WY)

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  • Market cap: $21 billion
  • Dividend yield: 2.7%
  • 1-year return: 0%
  • Country: USA
  • Stock price: $29

Weyerhaeuser is another unique REIT to have in your portfolio. The company, which most Americans have never heard of. It is one of the biggest companies that own thousands of acres in the United States.

It makes money by selling timber and lumber, minerals and climate solutions. It normally benefits when there is strong housing demand in the country.

Weyerhaeuser’s business has been doing well in the past few years. Its revenue soared from over $6.5 billion in 2019 and peaked at $10.2 billion in 2021. It then retreated to $7.6 billion in 2023 as high interest rates led to lower lumber prices. 

The company could be set to rebound in the coming years as the Fed is set to start cutting interest rates either in 2023 or in 2024. It has a strong record of rewarding its shareholders and has a strong balance sheet with just $5 billion in debt.

Weyerhaeuser is also benefiting from the ongoing climate change actions as it makes money by selling carbon credits to companies.

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5. Digital Realty (NYSE: DLR)

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  • Market cap: $48 billion
  • Dividend yield: 3.33%
  • 1-year return: 41%
  • Country: USA
  • Stock price: $110

Artificial intelligence has become one of the fastest-growing businesses globally recently,a move that has catapulted Nvidia to become a $3 trillion company. 

Digital Realty Trust is one of the top real estate companies that has benefited from this trend. The company provides locations where data centers are located around the world. Its clients are the biggest names in the tech industry like IBM, Microsoft, and Amazon. 

Digital Realty Trust’s business has been growing rapidly in the past few years. Its revenue jumped to over $5.4 billion in 2023 from $3.2 billion in 2019. Most importantly, its annual profit has now crossed the crucial level of $1 billion. 

The company’s stock will likely continue growing in the coming years as demand for data center locations jump. However, like other fast-growing companies, Digital Realty’s stock seems a bit overvalued as it trades at a price-to-FFO ratio of 21. 

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Where to buy the best REIT shares

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You can purchase REITs from the stock market just like you would with a regular stock or fund. The easiest way to do this is by signing up to a trustworthy broker and depositing funds. We have outlined some of our top picks below to help you purchase shares in the best real estate investment trusts (REITs).

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What is a REIT?

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REIT stands for real estate investment trust. It is a publicly traded company that owns, operates, or finances real estate. REITs allow individual investors to gain exposure to portfolios of income-producing real estate assets. Publicly traded equity REITs own physical properties like offices, apartments, data centres, cell towers, and retail properties. 

REITs must pay at least 90% of taxable income to shareholders as dividends, providing steady income and potential long-term capital appreciation. REITs offer more tax advantages and diversity than directly investing in individual properties. There are also mortgage REITs, hybrid REITs, and private REITs. Publicly traded equity REITs are popular holdings for ETFs and mutual funds focused on real estate and dividends. 

Investing in reliable REITs with growing rental income, disciplined management, and strong dividend growth allows tapping into real estate markets while avoiding the hassles of being a landlord. However, REITs face risks like rising interest rates, volatile property markets, high debt levels, and oversupply in certain sectors. 

However, for long-term investors seeking income and real estate exposure, publicly traded equity REITs can be an attractive addition to portfolios when purchased at fair valuations.

Are REITs a good investment?

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If you are seeking exposure to the real estate market, especially if you don’t have the available capital to purchase your own properties, REITs can offer a convenient and affordable route to exposure.

As with any other form of trust or funds, REITs give you exposure to a diversified portfolio of commercial properties. So, if one retail trade or jurisdiction experiences difficulties that affect some properties, other properties within the REIT could pick up the slack and boost the performance of the overall trust.

Moreover, actively managed REITs give investors the chance to put their capital in the hands of experienced financial experts known as fund managers. This means that rather than making decisions for yourself, an expert is able to take the reigns and target returns.

Find out more about REITs by checking out the latest news articles about this particular industry in the section below.

Methodology: How we choose the best REIT stocks

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At Invezz, our mission is to empower our readers with the most accurate and reliable financial information. Our curated selection of the best stocks in specific industries is designed to provide investors with well-researched, expertly reviewed stock recommendations. Our team follows a rigorous process to ensure our readers receive high-quality, trustworthy stock selections.

  • Initial screening. Our team of experienced stock market analysts conducts an initial screening of stocks within the chosen industry. This involves analyzing a broad range of companies based on key financial metrics such as revenue growth, profitability, debt levels, and market capitalization.
  • Earnings reports and financial analysis. Analysts review the latest earnings reports of shortlisted companies. This includes a detailed assessment of financial statements, looking for consistent earnings growth, strong balance sheets, and positive cash flow trends. Special attention is given to year-over-year performance and quarterly results.
  • Sector analysis. A comprehensive sector analysis is conducted to understand the macroeconomic factors affecting the industry. This includes examining market trends, competitive landscape, regulatory changes, and technological advancements. Our analysts utilize industry reports, market research, and economic forecasts to gain a holistic view of the sector.
  • Analyst recommendations. We consider recommendations from reputable sources such as Barron’s and Zacks. These sources provide expert opinions and ratings on stocks, which serve as an additional layer of validation for our selections. Incorporating external analyst recommendations ensures that our curated stocks are backed by a consensus of expert views.
  • Internal review. After the initial selection by our analysts, the chosen stocks are reviewed by a sub-editor. The sub-editor ensures that the analysis is clear, concise, and adheres to Invezz’s editorial guidelines. This review process helps maintain the quality and readability of our content, making it accessible to a broad audience.
  • Quarterly updates. To ensure our stock recommendations remain relevant and up-to-date, we update the curated section quarterly. Each update cycle involves re-evaluating the stocks based on the latest financial reports, industry developments, and market conditions. This regular update process ensures that our recommendations reflect the most current information available.

Our approach combines expert analysis, comprehensive research, and regular updates to deliver reliable and insightful investment recommendations. Read more about our review process and editorial policy.

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Crispus Nyaga
Market Analyst
Crispus is a Financial Analyst for Invezz covering the stock, cryptocurrency and forex markets. He’s an experienced analyst with more than 8 years of industry experience.... read more.
James Knight
Editor of Education
James is the Editor of Education for Invezz, where he covers topics from across the financial world, from the stock market, to cryptocurrency, to macroeconomic markets.... read more.