These Were The Equity REITs With The Highest Total Returns in 2021

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Equity REITs had an overall strong year in 2021, with the FTSE Nareit All Equity REITs Index producing total returns of 41.3%. Out of all of the equity REITs we follow, these are the companies and sectors that had the highest total returns in 2021.

Equity REITs With The Highest Total Returns in 2021

Preferred Apartment Communities Inc (NYSE: APTS): This residential REIT grew consistently in terms of price throughout 2021 and finally reached its pre-pandemic price in September 2021.

The REIT closed out the year with a total price gain of 151.9% and total returns of 167.3%. The company paid out a total of 68 cents per share in dividends throughout the year, providing a 6.8% average yield in 2021.

Cedar RealtyTrust Inc (NYSE: CDR): This retail REIT maintained momentum throughout 2021 after its share price fell roughly 60% due to the pandemic and the company making the call to do a 1-for-6.6 reverse stock split, which took effect on Nov. 27, 2020.


The REIT then managed to realize a price gain of 160.2% in 2021 with total returns of 164.5%. The company declared a total of 28 cents per share in dividends throughout the year providing a 1.74% average yield in 2021.

Gladstone Land Corp (NASDAQ: LAND): This specialized REIT, focused on acquiring and managing farmland, had an especially impressive year in 2021 considering its share price had already fully recovered from the pandemic by May 2020, and even hitting a new five-year high during the month.

The REIT closed out 2021 with a price gain of 136.2%, with total returns of 142%. The company made 12 dividend payments throughout the year totaling 54 cents per share providing a 2.78% average yield in 2021.

REIT Sectors With The Highest Total Returns in 2021

Self Storage: Self-Storage REITs were the best performing sector overall with total returns of 79.43%. The three top performers in this sector were Extra Space Storage Inc EXR, National Storage Affiliates Trust NSA and Life Storage Inc LSI.

Industrial: The demand for industrial real estate has been strong the past several years and that demand is even stronger now in the wake of the pandemic. While industrial REITs may have only been the second-best performer in 2021, with total returns of 62.03%, this sector by far has the strongest three-year and five-year compound annual total returns among all REIT sectors at 39.29% and 26.01%, respectively.

Residential REITs: Overall, residential REITs produced a total return of 58.29% in 2021, with apartments being the best performing subsector at 63.61% total returns compared to single-family homes at 52.79% and manufactured homes at 41.98%.

Photo by Jason Dent on Unsplash.

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