Hungry for Income? Get 7-9% Yields From REITs

Many real estate investment trusts (REITs) offer juicy yields. REITs generate consistent cash flows from rents they receive across dozens to hundreds of tenants. So, REITs, which usually pay out monthly distributions, are excellent income investments for income investors.

Income investors should consider Slate Office REIT (TSX:SOT.UN), Slate Retail REIT (TSX:SRT.UN), and Dream Industrial Real Estate Invest Trst (TSX:DIR.UN), which offer yields of 7-9% today.

Slate Office

Slate Office focuses on acquiring non-trophy office assets in Canada. This market makes up two-thirds of the office space inventory in the country, and there are more discounted opportunities here than in the core office space.

Slate Office scouts for high-quality downtown and suburban office properties, which are typically overlooked by large investors and end up discounted compared to replacement costs. In fact, Slate Office’s management, Slate Asset Management, is so confident in the REIT that it owns about 20% of it.

Slate Office’s 34 assets total 4.4 million square feet and its portfolio is diversified across Atlantic Canada (49% of portfolio), Ontario (Greater Toronto Area)(37% of portfolio), and western Canada (14%). Furthermore, it has less than 3% of net operating income (NOI) affiliated with the oil and gas industry.

At $7.95 per unit, Slate Office yields 9.4% with a payout ratio of about 96%. Although its yield is enticing today, and the REIT is reasonably priced, it’d be a better buy at under $7 per unit.

Slate Retail

Slate Retail has an asset base that’s 100% U.S. grocery anchored. The REIT looks for mispriced properties in secondary markets to target higher returns. It owns 66 properties across 20 states.

Supply in the space has been on a declining trend since 2007, and the occupancy rate has been improving since 2010. The occupancy rate was about 94% in 2015. Slate Asset Management and insiders own about 6% of the REIT.

Slate Retail has one of the lowest payout ratios in the industry. The retail REIT hiked its distribution last December by 3%, and its payout ratio is still only 67%.

At $13.48 per unit, Slate Retail yields 7.4%. The company is reasonably priced today and is a good buy on any dips.

Dream Industrial

Dream Industrial is the largest pure-play industrial REIT in Canada. Its portfolio consists of assets across 17 million square feet. It generates roughly 32% of its NOI from Alberta, 26% from Ontario, 20% from Quebec, 15% from New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, and 7% from Saskatchewan. Only 3.3% of its gross leasable area is related to oil and gas tenants.

At $8.32 per unit, Dream Industrial yields 8.4%. And its payout ratio of about 85% is sustainable. The company is inexpensive today.

REIT investing tips

If you buy these REITs in a TFSA, you can get tax-free income. Additionally, REITs pay out distributions that are unlike dividends. Distributions can consist of other income, capital gains, foreign non-business income and return of capital. Other income and foreign non-business income are taxed at your marginal tax rate, while capital gains are taxed at half of your marginal tax rate.

The return-of-capital portion reduces your adjusted cost basis. This means that that portion is tax deferred until you sell your units or until your adjusted cost basis turns negative.

So, if you buy REIT units in a non-registered account, you’ll need to track the changes in the adjusted cost basis. The T3 that you’ll receive will help you figure out the new adjusted cost basis.

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Fool contributor Kay Ng owns shares of SLATE OFFICE REIT.

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