Business Today

REITs: The New Real(i)ty

Leading the way in 1960, the US Congress signed a legislation introducing Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) to bring the benefits of commercial estate to the common American, which were largely available to financial institutions and wealthy individuals. REITs are securities linked to real estate that can be traded on stock exchanges once they get listed. They invest in income-generating real estate. This income gets distributed among unit holders, including sponsors, trustees, fund managers and unit holders. Bradley Real Estate Investors, Continental Mortgage Investors, First Mortgage Investors and First Union Real Estate were among the first ones to create REITs in the US. In 1965, Continental Mortgage Investors listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Back home, though the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) introduced the draft REIT regulations as early as 2007, it was only seven years later in 2014 that Real Estate Investment Trusts Regulations, 2014 (REIT Regulations) were enacted. Other reforms, including liberalisation of foreign direct investment (FDI) norms in real estate,

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