What is a REIT?

Media City, Salford

We were one of the key bodies that persuaded the government to introduce legislation allowing property companies to convert to REITs (real estate investment trusts). On this page you can learn the basics of what REITs are, and view a list of those in the UK.

REITs are companies that manage a portfolio of real estate to earn profits for shareholders. REITs escapes corporation tax, and must pay out 90% of their property income to shareholders. 

REITs must operate in line with the REIT regulations, which ensure the company is primarily engaged in property investment, rather than in development or other non-property related activities.

Most UK REITs focus on the UK, though a few have European investments. This sort of specialisation is a global characteristic of REITs, and reflects the diversity of legislation in some countries.

FEATURES OF A REIT

REITs can be very tax efficient, as the property company pays no corporation or capital gains on the profits made from property investment.

The major UK REITs are also many times larger than most property unit trusts, and are very transparent, as they are subject to continual market scrutiny. As REITs are all listed property companies, investments in them are generally very liquid.

TAX ISSUES

The tax issues include the fact that dividends from REITs are treated as income to the investor, and are taxed accordingly.

Distributions are subject to a withholding tax at basic rate income tax, except for certain classes of investors who can register to receive gross rather than net payments. These include charities, UK companies, and pension funds. REITs can also be held in ISAs and Child Trust Funds (CTFs), and the managers of these can receive gross distributions, making these highly tax efficient.

A SELECTION OF UK REITS

We do our best to keep this list up-to-date and populated with all UK REITs, but we can’t guarantee that every single UK REIT is listed here.

Assura (AGR)
Big Yellow Group (BYG)
British Land Company (BLND)
Broadgate REIT (BRL)
Capital & Regional (CAL)
Custodian REIT (CREI)
Derwent London (DLN)
Ediston Property Investments Company (EPIC)
Empiric Student Property (ESP)
F&C Real Estate Investments (FCRE)
GCP Student Living (DIGS)
Glenstone Property Group (GPRO)
Great Portland Estates (GPOR)
Ground Rents Income Fund (GRIO)
Hammerson (HMSO)
Hansteen Holdings (HSTN)
Highcroft Investments (HCFT)
Intu Properties (INTU)
Land Securities (LAND)
The Local Shopping REIT (LSR)
LondonMetric Property (LMP)
McKay Securities (MCKS)
Mill Residential REIT (MRR)
Mucklow (A & J) Group (MKLW)
NewRiver Retail (NRR)
Primary Health Properties (PHP)
Real Estate Investors (RLE)
Redefine International (RDI)
SEGRO (SGRO)
Safestore Holdings (SAFE)
Secure Income REIT (SIR)
Shaftesbury (SHB)
Standard Life Investments Property Income Trusts (SLI)
Target Healthcare REIT (THRL)
Town Centre Securities (TCSC)
Tritax Big Box REIT (BBOX)
Workspace Group (WKP)

LOOKING FOR REITA'S MARKET DATA?

We have recently updated our website, and you may be looking for the market data and charting tools that we used to host on the 'reita' section of our site.

Unfortunately it is no longer possible to provide these, but we now list a number of useful resources where you can find commercial real estate market data.