Buy and Hold 1 of These REITs Forever

All investors should own a REIT, and Granite Real Estate Investment Trust (TSX:GRT.UN)(NYSE:GRP), Canadian REIT (TSX:REF.UN), and Milestone Apartments Real Estate Invt Tr (TSX:MST.UN) are great options.

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As wise investors know, dividend-paying stocks outperform non-dividend-paying stocks over the long term, and real estate investment trusts, or REITs, have the highest yields on average. It is for this reason that I think all long-term investors should own a REIT, so let’s take a look at three with yields up to 6.2% that you could buy today.

1. Granite Real Estate Investment Trust: 6.2% yield

Granite Real Estate Investment Trust (TSX:GRT.UN)(NYSE:GRP) is one of the largest owners of industrial real estate in North America and Europe, with over 100 properties totaling more than 30 million square feet of gross leasable area. It pays a monthly distribution of $0.192 per share, or $2.304 per share annually, giving its stock a 6.2% yield at today’s levels.

It is also important to note that Granite has increased its annual rate for three consecutive years, and its consistent funds from operations, including $153.83 million in fiscal 2014 and $79.1 million in the first half of fiscal 2015, could allow this streak to continue in 2016.

2. Canadian REIT: 4.4% yield

Canadian REIT (TSX:REF.UN) owns one of the largest diversified real estate portfolios in North America, with 198 properties totaling approximately 33 million square feet of gross leasable area. It pays a monthly distribution of $0.15 per share, or $1.80 per share annually, giving its stock a 4.4% yield at current levels.

Investors should also note that the company has increased its annual rate for 14 consecutive years, and its consistent funds from operations, including $205.61 million in fiscal 2014 and $94.61 million in the first half of fiscal 2015, could allow this streak to continue for the next several years.

3. Milestone Apartments Real Estate Invt Tr: 4.25% yield

Milestone Apartments Real Estate Invt Tr (TSX:MST.UN) is one of the largest multi-family residential landlords in the United States, with 61 properties comprising of 19,908 units available for lease. It pays a monthly distribution of $0.05417 per share, or $0.65 per share annually, giving its stock a 4.25% yield at today’s levels.

It is also important to note that Milestone has maintained this annual rate since it went public in March 2013, but its increased amount of funds from operations, including 32.2% year-over-year growth to US$29.14 million in the first half of fiscal 2015, could allow for a substantial increase in the next few months.

Which of these REITs should you buy today?

Granite, Canadian REIT, and Milestone Apartments are three very attractive investment options in the real estate industry today. All Foolish investors should strongly consider buying and holding one of them forever.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium service or advisor. We’re Motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer, so we sometimes publish articles that may not be in line with recommendations, rankings or other content.

Fool contributor Joseph Solitro has no position in any stocks mentioned. Milestone Apartments is a recommendation of Stock Advisor Canada.

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