Real Estate Investment Trust India (REITs): A Beginner’s Guide

Real Estate Investment Trust India

Navigating the world of real estate investment can be complex, but Real Estate Investment Trust India (REITs) have opened up a new and accessible avenue. Let’s explore what REITs are, how they work, and why they might be a smart addition to your investment portfolio.

Introduction to REITs

What Are REITs?

Real Estate Investment Trust India, or REITs, operate much like mutual funds but in the property sector. They are entities that manage a portfolio of real estate assets, ranging from commercial buildings to hotels and warehouses. The concept here is pooling resources from multiple investors and using this collective fund to invest in real estate.

The Emergence of REITs in India

In India, the concept of REITs is relatively new, introduced to diversify investment options and attract more capital into the real estate sector. This initiative also provides individual investors with an opportunity to participate in the real estate market without the hefty capital typically required for direct property investments.

How Do REITs Work?

Structure of REITs

Real Estate Investment Trust India operate similarly to mutual funds and are regulated by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). They pool money from investors to buy, manage, or finance property. By investing in a REIT, you essentially buy a share of these properties. The unique structure allows for diversified risk and professional management.

Types of Properties in REITs

Most Real Estate Investment Trust India (REIT’s) focus on commercial real estate, including office buildings, shopping malls, and hotels. This focus is primarily due to the steady rental income these properties can generate. However, the portfolio can be diversified, including a mix of residential and commercial properties.

Revenue Generation and Distribution

The primary way REITs make money for investors is through renting, leasing, or selling these properties. They’re required by law to distribute a significant portion (usually about 90%) of their taxable income to their investors, providing a regular income stream, often quarterly.

How Does a Company Qualify as a REIT?

To qualify as a REIT, a company has to meet specific requirements as mentioned below.

  1. The organization must be set up as a corporation or business trust. 
  2. Extends shares that are fully transferable. 
  3. Is run by a board of directors or a group of trustees. 
  4. A minimum of 100 shareholders are required. 
  5. No fewer than five persons ought to have owned half of its shares in any given tax year. 
  6. Must distribute dividends equal to no less than 90% of the taxable income. 
  7. Get at least 75% of your gross income from rent or mortgage interest. 
  8. Stock held by taxable REIT subsidiaries makes up no more than 20% of the corporation’s total assets. 
  9. Real estate must make up no less than 75% of investment assets. 
  10. Investments should account for at least 95% of REITs’ total income.

Types of Real Estate Investment Trust India(REIT)

The various categories of REITs are listed below.


One of the most common kinds of REITs is this one. It usually has to do with running and overseeing commercial properties that bring in money. Interestingly, rent is a common source of income in this area.


Often referred to as mREITs, mortgages are primarily used for proprietor loans and facility extensions. Moreover, mortgage-backed securities are typically purchased by REITs. Interest earned on the money they lend to owners is another source of revenue for mortgage REITs.


By allocating capital to both equity and mortgage REITs, investors can diversify their holdings with this option. Therefore, this specific type of REIT derives its income from both rent and interest.

Private REITs: 

These trusts serve a limited group of investors through private placements. Private Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) are generally not registered with SEBI and are not traded on national securities exchanges.

Publicly traded REITs: 

These trusts generally offer shares that are listed on the National Securities Exchange and subject to SEBI regulation. Through the NSE, individual investors can buy and sell these shares.

Public non-traded REITs: 

SEBI-registered non-listed REITs fall under this category. They aren’t exchanged on the National Stock Exchange, though. Also, these options are less liquid in comparison to publicly traded non-traded REITs. Additionally, because they are not impacted by changes in the market, they are more stable.

Advantages of Investing in REITs

  • Diversification in Real Estate

One of the key benefits of Real Estate Investment Trust India (REITs) is diversification. By investing in REITs, you gain exposure to a range of properties across different geographic locations and sectors. This can reduce the risk compared to investing directly in a single property.

  • Accessibility and Affordability

REITs lower the entry barrier to real estate investment. Instead of needing significant capital to buy a property, you can start investing in real estate with much smaller amounts, making it accessible to the average investor.

  • Regular Income and Potential Tax Benefits

The regular distribution of income is one of the most attractive aspects of Real Estate Investment Trust India (REITs). Additionally, there are tax advantages associated with REITs, making them a tax-efficient investment option.


Limitations in Investing in REITs

No tax benefits: 

REITs don’t offer much in the way of tax savings. For example, taxes apply to dividends received from REIT companies. 

Market-linked risks: 

One of the main dangers of real estate investment trusts (REITs) is their vulnerability to changes in the market. Because of this, investors who are not comfortable taking on a lot of risk should consider this investment’s potential for return before making it. 

Prospect for low growth: 

For REITs, the likelihood of capital appreciation is quite low. The primary reason for this is that they give investors up to 90% of their profits and only reinvest the remaining 10% back into the business. 

Understanding the Indian REIT Market

Regulatory Framework and SEBI’s Role

SEBI’s role in regulating REITs in India ensures transparency and investor protection. The regulatory framework under SEBI dictates how REITs should operate, the kind of assets they can invest in, and the distribution of earnings to investors.

Performance of REITs in India

Since their introduction, Real Estate Investment Trust India have shown promising performance, with several REITs providing attractive returns. They have also brought more professionalism and transparency into the Indian real estate market.

Key Players in the Indian REIT Market

The Real Estate Investment Trust India landscape is still evolving, but some key players have already made a mark, such as Embassy Office Parks REIT, Mindspace REIT, and Brookfield India Real Estate Trust. These entities have diverse portfolios and have been instrumental in shaping the market.


How to Invest in REITs in India

  • Eligibility and Investment Process

Investing in Real Estate Investment Trust India (REITs) is straightforward. They are traded on major stock exchanges like stocks, allowing investors to buy and sell them easily.

  • Choosing the Right REIT

Selecting the right Real Estate Investment Trust India (REIT) involves evaluating the property portfolio, the track record of the management team, and the dividend history.

  • Risks and Considerations

As with any investment, Real Estate Investment Trust India (REITs) come with risks, such as market volatility and interest rate risks. It’s essential to consider these factors and invest according to your risk appetite.


REITs vs. Other Investment Options

Comparing REITs with Direct Real Estate Investment

Direct real estate investment typically requires more capital and involves managing the property. Real Estate Investment Trust India (REITs), on the other hand, offer a hassle-free way to invest in real estate without the burdens of property management.

REITs vs. Mutual Funds and Stocks

While mutual funds and stocks are more common investments, Real Estate Investment Trust India (REITs) offer an alternative with a different risk-return profile, primarily tied to the real estate market’s performance rather than the broader stock market.

Taxation of REITs in India

Tax Implications for Investors

The taxation of Real Estate Investment Trust India has evolved to become more favorable, with certain tax benefits for investors. Understanding these tax implications is crucial for assessing the net return on your investment.

Recent Changes in Taxation Policy

Recent policy changes have enhanced the appeal of REITs to investors, such as amendments in dividend distribution tax regulations.


Real Estate Investment Trust India offer an exciting opportunity for individual investors to tap into the real estate market with relative ease. By understanding their structure, benefits, and the nuances of the Indian market, investors can make informed decisions and potentially enjoy regular income and capital appreciation. As the market matures, REITs are poised to become a cornerstone of diversified investment portfolios in India.

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