What 12 REITs Pay the Highest Dividend Yield

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Real estate investment trusts (REITs) are required to pay out at least 90% of their earnings as dividends to take advantage of favorable tax regulations. Because of these tax advantages, REITs usually offer high dividend yields.

Since REITs offer shares that are traded like stocks on major exchanges, REITs are easy and convenient ways for investors to gain access to real estate investments. Additionally, since shares of REITs can be easily sold on the exchanges and converted to cash much quicker than real estate properties, the investors can keep their assets relatively liquid.

Because of the 90% or more earnings distribution requirement, REITs are securities with some of the highest dividend yields. Among the REITs, here are 12 of the companies that currently pay the highest yields.



  1. REITs Paying the highest dividend Yield: Select Income REIT (NASDAQ:SIR)

The RMR Group LLC. serves as the external manager of the Select Income REIT. Based in Newton, Massachusetts, Select Income invests primarily in office and industrial buildings in the Hawaiian real estate markets.

The trust’s current dividend yield of 8.74% is based on the $2.04 annualized total dividend and the $23.16 closing share price. Since starting to pay a dividend in 2012, the REIT hiked its dividend every year. Over the last 12 months, the share price is down 3.7%.


  1. REITs Paying the Highest Dividend Yield: Ladder Capital Corp. (NYSE:LADR)

Founded in 2008 and headquartered in New York City, the Ladder Capital Corp. operates as a REIT through several segments. The Loans segment originates mortgage loans and invests in note purchase financings, subordinated debt, mezzanine debt and other commercial real estate structured finance products. Additionally, the Securities segment invests in commercial mortgage-backed securities and U.S. Agency Securities. Lastly, the Real Estate segment invests in commercial and residential leased properties, office buildings, condominium units and a warehouse.


The trust’s current 8.1% dividend yield is the result of a $0.80 annualized dividend and the $9.83 closing price on January 29, 2021. The REIT’s share price has suffered tremendously in the trailing 12 months, dropping 41.9%.


  1. REITs Paying the Highest Dividend Yield: Spirit Realty Capital, Inc. (NYSE:SRC)

Formed in 2003 and domiciled in Dallas, Spirit Realty Capital, Inc. is a publicly traded real estate investment trust. The firm’s primary focus is acquisition of single tenant real estate facilities, which are mostly free-standing, commercial real estate facilities for retail, service or distribution activities.

The REITs current $2.50 annual dividend and its $38.56 share price as of January 29, 2021, convert to a 6.5% dividend yield. The trust hiked its annual dividend every year up through 2017, and has gradually decreased it since.


  1. REITs Paying the Highest Dividend Yield: Site Centers Corp. (NYSE:SITC)

Based in Beachwood, Ohio, the Site Centers Corp. owns, develops and manages shopping centers in the United States and Puerto Rico. The firm operated as Developers Diversified Realty Corporation in the past.

The firm’s current share price of $11.09, as of January 29, 2021, and its annual dividend payout of $0.20 yield 1.8%. After more than a decade of rising annual dividends, the REIT cut its annual dividend significantly in 2009. However, the trust resumed hiking its annual dividends in 2011 and has continued the boosts over seven years, then decreasing again since 2017.


  1. REITs Paying the Highest Dividend Yield: Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance (NYSE:ARI)

Founded in 2009 and headquartered in New York City, the Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance, Inc. primarily originates, acquires, invests in and manages commercial first mortgage loans, commercial mortgage-backed securities and other commercial real estate-related debt investments in the United States.

The trust’s share price closed at $11.18 on January 29, 2021, which combined with the current annual dividend amount of $1.40 yields 12.5%. The company paid a flat annual dividend between 2011 and 2014, raised its annual payout for two consecutive years in 2015 and 2016 and paid the same dividend in 2017, 2018 and 2019 as it did in 2016. In 2020, it reduced its dividend roughly 26%.


  1. REITs Paying the Highest Dividend Yield: Annaly Capital Management Inc. (NYSE:NLY)

Annaly Capital Management, Inc. invests in agency mortgage-backed securities and residential credit investments, as well as originates and invests in commercial mortgage loans, securities and other commercial real estate investments. Founded in 1997, Annaly Capital Management, Inc. is based in New York City.

The company’s 2020 annual dividend of $0.91 yields 10.8% against the $8.12 share price as of January 29, 2021. After experiencing some volatility between 1997 and 2013, the trust paid a steady $1.20 annual dividend over four consecutive years and reduced its dividend slightly in 2019 and 2020.


  1. REITs Paying the Highest Dividend Yield: Anworth Mortgage Asset Corporation (NYSE:ANH)

Founded in 1997 and headquartered in Santa Monica, California, the Anworth Mortgage Asset Corporation invests in residential mortgage-backed securities that are guaranteed by government-sponsored enterprises, such as the Federal National Mortgage Association or the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation. Additionally, the company invests in non-agency mortgage investments that are guaranteed by private institutions.

The firm’s $0.20 annual dividend distribution for 2020 and its $2.44 closing share price as of January 29, 2021, convert to an 8.2% yield. The company’s share price, however, faltered in the trailing 12 months, losing nearly 25% of its value.


  1. REITs Paying the Highest Dividend Yield: Chimera Investment Corporation (NYSE:CIM)

Founded in 2007 and headquartered in New York City, the Chimera Investment Corporation REIT invests in residential mortgage-backed securities, residential mortgage loans, commercial mortgage loans and other real estate-related securities.

The trust’s current $10.10 share price and its $1.40 annual dividend amount for 2020 convert to a 11.9% dividend yield. The REIT has been paying a dividend since 2007, and has gone through a number of hikes and declines over the 14 year period. While its five-year return is a satisfying 50.1%, its one-year returns reflect a similar amount as a loss — 46.1% down.


  1. REITs Paying the Highest Dividend Yield: New Residential Investment Corp. (NYSE:NRZ)

The New Residential Investment Corp. REIT was founded in 2011 in New York City. The company invests in excess mortgage servicing rights on residential mortgage loans, servicer advances, residential mortgage backed securities and residential mortgage loans.

The company’s 2020 annual dividend of $0.80 yields 8.5% against the January 29, 2021, share price of $9.39. Since 2013, the trust raised its annual dividend every year through 2019, then decreasing it again in response to the economic turmoil of 2020. Its share price fell 40% in the trailing 12 months.


  1. REITs Paying the Highest Dividend Yield: New Senior Investment Group Inc. (NYSE:SNR)

Based in New York City, the New Senior Investment Group is a REIT with a diversified portfolio of 148 senior housing properties located across 37 U.S. states.

The REIT’s 2020 total annualized dividend payout of $0.33 is a reduction from its 2019 payment. Compared against the REIT’s current $5.30 share price as of January 29, 2021, the dividend yields 4.9%. The share price fell almost 27% over the past 12 months and unfortunately wiped out all benefits of the high dividend income.


  1. REITs Paying the Highest Dividend Yield: Uniti Group Inc. (NASDAQ:UNIT)

Founded in 2014 in Little Rock, Arkansas, the Uniti Group Inc., is an internally managed REIT that acquires and constructs communications infrastructure in the United States and Mexico. The trust acquires and leases data centers and telecommunications towers for wireless carriers, as well as provides local telephone, long-distance telephone and high-speed internet service.

The company’s $12.31 closing share price on January 29, 2021, and its 2020 annual dividend distribution of $0.60 convert to a 4.9% dividend yield. While this yield may appear smaller, it has been deflated by the company’s rapid growth of 103.3% in the trailing 12 months.


  1. REITs Paying the Highest Dividend Yield: Five Oaks Investment Corp. (NYSE:OAKS)

Founded in 2012 and headquartered in New York City, the Five Oaks Investment Corp. invests, finances and manages agency and non-agency residential mortgage-backed securities (MBS), multi-family MBS, residential mortgage loans, mortgage servicing rights and other mortgage-related investments. Oak Circle Capital Partners LLC. externally manages and advises the REIT.


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Ned Piplovic is the assistant editor of website content at Eagle Financial Publications. He graduated from Columbia University with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Philosophy. Prior to joining Eagle, Ned spent 15 years in corporate operations and financial management. Ned writes for www.DividendInvestor.com and www.StockInvestor.com.


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