Investing in REIT Australia

Are you considering investing in the Australian real estate market but don’t have the resources to purchase properties directly? Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) could be the answer you’re looking for.

They offer a convenient way to invest in the property market, providing potential capital growth and regular income without the need to own or manage physical properties.

This guide will walk you through the world of REIT Australia and help you make informed decisions about your investments.

Key Takeaways

  • REITs in Australia provide investors with the potential for stability and capital growth through rental income, dividends and property appreciation.
  • Taxation of REIT investments should be considered when investing, including dividend taxation and Capital Gains Tax.
  • Investors should assess their individual goals, risk tolerance & features of each REIT before making an investment decision.

Understanding REITs in Australia

Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), introduced in Australia in 1971, allow investors to access commercial property assets that would generally be out of reach for individual investors. With a minimum initial investment of just $500, Australian REITs provide an opportunity to benefit from capital growth and consistent income through Australian real estate investment. The Australian REIT market encompasses a wide range of property types, including apartment complexes, data centers, healthcare facilities, hotels, infrastructure, office buildings, retail centers, and self-storage.

Before embarking on REIT investment, thorough research, sound advice, and due diligence are paramount. By understanding the history and regulatory framework of REITs in Australia, investors can make better-informed decisions and minimize potential risks.

What is a REIT?

A Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) is a company that allows investors to pool their capital and invest in income-producing real estate assets without the need to own, manage, or finance the properties themselves. There are various types of REITs, including:

  • Equity REITs
  • Mortgage REITs
  • Hybrid REITs
  • Specialty REITs

Each type of REIT has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

Investing in REITs provides opportunities for investors to earn dividends from real estate investments and to appreciate capital.

History of REITs in Australia

REITs were first introduced in Australia in 1971, providing investors with exposure to the property market through a more accessible investment vehicle. Over the years, Australian REITs have evolved to adapt to market changes and varying economic conditions. For instance, listed REITs and private REITs responded to the global credit crisis in 2007 by deleveraging and re-equitizing their balance sheets, raising significant capital through secondary equity offerings and IPOs.

The evolution of REITs in Australia demonstrates their ability to adapt and continue providing investment opportunities in the real estate market.

Regulatory Framework

Australian REITs, also known as A-REITs, are regulated as Collective Investment Schemes under the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s Code on Collective Investment Schemes or as Business Trusts. In order to qualify for tax concessions, A-REITs have to fulfil certain conditions. One of these requires them to distribute at least 90% of their taxable income to their shareholders annually..

The regulatory framework governing Australian REITs ensures transparency and investor protection, making them an attractive investment option for those looking to gain exposure to the property market.

Types of Australian REITs

Understanding the different types of Australian REITs is a crucial step when contemplating such investments. Each type of REIT has its own set of characteristics, advantages, and drawbacks. By familiarizing yourself with the various types, you can make an informed decision about which REIT is best suited to your investment goals and risk tolerance.

Equity REITs

Equity REITs are the most common type of REIT, investing in and managing income-generating real estate property types such as office buildings, retail centers, and apartment buildings. REITs are primarily income-driven investments. They generate income by charging rent to tenants and capital gains from the increasing value of their underlying properties.

Equity REITs allow investors to benefit from the stability and growth potential of real estate without the need to own the properties directly. By choosing to equity reits invest, they can diversify their portfolios and generate income through rental revenue and property appreciation.

Mortgage REITs

Mortgage REITs specialize in investing in mortgages and mortgage-backed securities, focusing on earning income from the interest paid on these loans. These REITs provide finance real estate owners and developers, making them an essential part of the property market.

While mortgage REITs can offer attractive yields, they may also be more sensitive to interest rate fluctuations, which could impact their returns.

Hybrid REITs

Hybrid REITs combine the features of both equity and mortgage REITs, owning and managing income-producing properties while also investing in mortgage loans and securities. This dual focus allows hybrid REITs to provide investors with the potential benefits of both types of investments, offering a diversified exposure to the real estate market.

Specialty REITs

Specialty REITs focus on investing in specific property sectors or niches, such as healthcare facilities, data centers, or timberland. These REITs offer a unique opportunity to invest in a particular type of real estate asset, providing targeted exposure to a specific market segment.

Specialty REITs can offer attractive returns, but it’s important to research the specific sector and its growth potential before investing.

Top Australian REITs to Consider

Having discussed the different types of REITs, we’ll now examine some top Australian REITs to potentially invest in. These REITs have demonstrated strong performance and offer attractive investment opportunities in various sectors of the property market. Keep in mind that past performance is not indicative of future results, and it is essential to conduct thorough research and consult with an investment advisor before making any investment decisions.


Goodman Group (GMG)

Goodman Group is a global property group specializing in commercial and industrial real estate, with a market capitalization of $41.76 billion. The group primarily invests in prime logistics and industrial properties, focusing on developing and managing industrial real estate such as warehouses, logistics facilities, and business parks.

With a dividend yield of approximately 1.4%, Goodman Group offers investors the potential for capital growth and income generation.

Scentre Group (ASX: SCG)

Scentre Group, with a market capitalization of $13.24 billion, is the owner and operator of 42 Westfield shopping centers in Australia and New Zealand. Established in 2014 through the merger of Westfield Retail Trust and Westfield Group’s Australian and New Zealand operations, Scentre Group focuses on delivering exceptional shopping experiences and creating extraordinary places that connect and enrich communities.

With a strong portfolio of retail assets, Scentre Group provides investors with exposure to the dynamic retail property market.

Stockland (ASX: SGP)

Stockland is a diversified property group in Australia with a market capitalization of $9.7 billion. The company invests in a range of property types, including:

  • Residential land and housing
  • Retail town centers
  • Workplace and logistics assets
  • Retirement properties

With a dividend yield of 6.50%, Stockland offers the potential for stable income generation and capital growth.

Over the past five years, Stockland has exhibited a growth rate of 15.6% per annum in earnings, showcasing its potential for long-term investment success.

Mirvac Group (ASX: MGR)

Mirvac Group, a diversified property group with assets in office, retail, and industrial sectors, has been operating in the Australian real estate market for more than four decades. With a market capitalization of $8.6 billion, Mirvac holds and manages a diverse portfolio of properties across various sectors.

The company’s focus on sustainability and innovation, along with its diversified property portfolio, makes it an attractive investment option for those seeking exposure to the Australian property market.

Benefits of Investing in Australian REITs

Australian REITs offer investors a host of benefits. By providing exposure to a diversified portfolio of real estate assets, REITs can help spread risk across different properties and sectors, minimizing the impact of any one property or sector downturn on the overall portfolio. Furthermore, REITs can provide a regular income and potential capital growth, enhancing the risk-reducing benefits of diversification in an investment portfolio.

In addition to diversification, investing in Australian REITs offers advantages such as liquidity, as the shares can be bought and sold on the stock exchange like any other stock. Moreover, REITs are required to distribute at least 90% of their taxable income to their unit holders, making them an attractive source of regular income for many investors, especially those seeking a consistent income stream from their investments.

Portfolio Diversification

Diversification is a key benefit of investing in Australian REITs. Real estate plays a vital role in a diversified investment portfolio, providing both diversification and inflation hedging benefits. By investing in REITs, investors can gain exposure to various segments of the property market, such as:

  • Office properties
  • Industrial properties
  • Retail properties
  • Residential properties

This diversification can help mitigate the impact of any individual property or sector downturn on the overall investment portfolio, while also potentially improving long-term returns.

Stable Income

Australian REITs provide a stable income for investors through dividends. Since REITs are required to distribute at least 90% of their taxable income to shareholders, investors can expect a consistent income stream from their REIT investments. The dividend yield of Australian REITs is approximately 4.1%, making them an attractive income-generating investment.

Investing in Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) can be lucrative for investors. They will not only get regular income from tenants, but also benefit from capital growth through property investment without having to own the physical assets.

Capital Growth

Capital growth is another potential benefit of investing in Australian REITs. As property values appreciate over time, the value of the underlying properties within a REIT can also increase, providing potential capital gains for investors. Along with regular income from dividends, capital growth can enhance the overall returns from REIT investments.

While it’s important to remember that past performance is not indicative of future results, investing in Australian REITs presents the opportunity for both income and capital growth.


Liquidity is an essential factor to consider when investing in any asset, and Australian REITs provide a high level of liquidity compared to direct real estate investments.

Here are some reasons why:

  • REIT shares are publicly traded on major stock exchanges like the ASX
  • Investors can easily buy and sell their shares
  • Provides instant access to funds
  • Ability to quickly adjust investment positions

This liquidity is particularly beneficial for investors who may need to access their funds quickly or who want to take advantage of market opportunities as they arise.

Risks and Challenges of REIT Investments

Despite the numerous benefits offered by Australian REITs, potential risks and challenges associated with these investments warrant consideration. Some of the main risks to be aware of include market volatility, interest rate fluctuations, and management fees.

By understanding these risks and taking them into account when making investment decisions, investors can make more informed choices and better manage their investment portfolios.

Market Volatility

Market volatility can have a significant impact on property values and returns for REIT investments. Real estate is sensitive to macroeconomic factors and market cycles, and during periods of market volatility, the returns on REIT investments may be affected.

When investing in Australian REITs, it is crucial to recognize the potential impact of market volatility and adjust your investment strategy accordingly.

Interest Rate Fluctuations

Interest rate fluctuations can also have a considerable effect on Australian REIT investments. An increase in interest rates would result in higher borrowing costs for REITs, thereby reducing their earnings. Conversely, falling interest rates tend to have a positive effect on property values within REITs, as lower borrowing costs can lead to increased investment in real estate properties.

Being aware of the potential impact of interest rate fluctuations on REIT investments can help investors make more informed decisions and better manage their portfolios.

Management Fees

Management fees are another important factor to consider when investing in REITs. These fees are paid to the management company responsible for overseeing and operating the REIT and are typically deducted from the REIT’s earnings before distributing income to investors. While management fees can vary depending on the specific REIT, they can still have a negative impact on the overall returns from REIT investments.

It’s essential to be aware of any management fees and factor them into your investment decisions.

How to Invest in Australian REITs

Having discussed the benefits and risks of investing in Australian REITs, we’ll now delve into the investment process. There are several ways to invest in REITs, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

By understanding the different options available, investors can choose the method that best suits their investment goals and risk tolerance.

Buying Shares on the ASX

One of the most straightforward ways to invest in Australian REITs is by buying shares of REITs listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX). Investors can purchase these shares through their broker, just like any other shares on the ASX. When buying shares on the ASX, it’s important to be aware of any fees or costs associated with purchasing shares, such as:

  • Registration fees
  • Listing fees
  • Transaction clearing fees
  • Brokerage fees
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Investing in REIT ETFs

Another option for investing in Australian REITs is through REIT Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs). REIT ETFs are investment funds that primarily invest in equity REIT securities and seek to replicate REIT indexes. By investing in a REIT ETF, investors gain exposure to a diversified portfolio of real estate assets, providing an easy way to access the real estate market with a single investment.

REIT ETFs, which consist of publicly traded REITs, can be bought and sold on major stock exchanges, offering investors the benefits of liquidity and diversification.

Managed Funds

Investors can also participate in managed funds that invest in REITs. Managed funds are pooled investments managed by professional fund managers who invest in a variety of property trusts and companies listed on the ASX. By investing in a managed fund, investors can gain exposure to a professionally managed and diversified portfolio of real estate assets.

These funds typically charge management fees and transaction costs, so it’s essential to factor these into your investment decision.

Tax Implications of Investing in REITs

Considering the tax implications of your investment is a crucial aspect of investing in REITs. REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts) in Australia are generally exempt from taxation at the trust level. They can avail this facility by distributing at least 90% of their income to their unit holders. However, this income is still subject to taxation at the individual level, and investors should be aware of the tax treatment of REIT dividends and capital gains. Consult a tax professional or the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) for more information on the specific tax implications of investing in REITs.

Dividend Taxation

Dividend income received from REIT investments is subject to taxation in Australia. The tax rate on REIT dividends varies depending on the investor’s marginal tax rate, and any tax-deferred contributions, such as deductions for depreciation, capital allowances, and refurbishment costs, should also be considered. It is essential to accurately calculate and report the dividend income from REIT investments to ensure compliance with tax regulations.

For further information and guidance on reporting REIT dividends on Australian tax returns, consult the ATO website or a tax professional.

Capital Gains Tax

Capital gains tax applies to any profits made from the sale of REIT shares in Australia. The tax rate on capital gains is generally determined by the investor’s marginal tax rate, and individuals and trusts may be eligible for a 50% capital gains tax discount if they have owned the asset for 12 months or more.

It is crucial to accurately calculate and report capital gains from REIT investments on Australian tax returns to ensure compliance with tax regulations.

Tips for Choosing the Right REIT Investment

Choosing the right REIT investment involves considering your individual goals, risk tolerance, and the unique features of each REIT. Factors such as the premium to Net Tangible Assets (NTA), debt load, quality of underlying properties, management team, and diversification should all be taken into account.

By conducting thorough research and considering multiple factors, you can make more informed decisions and choose the right REIT investment that aligns with your financial objectives.


In conclusion, investing in Australian REITs offers a unique opportunity to gain exposure to the property market and benefit from both capital growth and regular income. By understanding the different types of REITs, their benefits and risks, and the various investment options available, investors can make informed decisions and build a diversified portfolio that aligns with their financial goals. With the right research and planning, REIT investments can be a valuable addition to your investment strategy, providing stability, growth potential, and income generation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is REIT a good investment in Australia?

REITs are an attractive investment in Australia due to the high dividend yields they offer, particularly during a low-interest rate environment. However, investors should be aware that there are risks associated with investing in A-REITs, such as potential underperformance of the market or even declines in property values during a recession.

What is the best REIT to buy now Australia?

Vanguard (VAP) is the best overall Australian REIT for investors to buy now. Goodman Group (GMG) is the best low-cost option, while State Street Global Advisors (DJRE) is the best choice for international property. For more advanced investors, VanEck (MVA) is the preferred option, while Dexus (DXS) is ideal for office space investments and Mirvac Group (MGR) is best for beginners.

Does Australia have REITs?

Yes, Australia does have REITs (also known as A-REITs or Australian Real Estate Investment Trusts), which are listed on the Australian Stock Exchange and offer investors a way to invest in the property market without having to buy a property themselves.

Are there any tax implications of investing in REITs?

Yes, there are tax implications of investing in REITs. Dividend income and capital gains are subject to taxation in Australia.