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5 Office REITs to Invest in 2024

5 Office REITs to Invest in 2024
Diana Paluteder

Summary: This guide delves into the nuances of office real estate investment funds (REITs) and highlights five of the industry’s frontrunners. If you’re curious about potential office REITs to invest in, consider using a reputable investment platform such as eToro.

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What are REITs? 

Note

REITs are companies that own, operate, or finance income-producing real estate in a range of property sectors. These can include office buildings, apartments, hotels, resorts, self-storage facilities, data centers, farmland, and more. Designed to provide a way for the average investor to invest in large-scale, diversified portfolios of real estate, REITs offer a unique benefit: they must distribute at least 90% of their taxable income to shareholders annually in the form of dividends.

As a result, REITs allow individuals to invest in commercial real estate without buying the property directly. By purchasing shares of a REIT, investors can buy a piece of real estate just like stocks. This also offers them the advantage of real estate ownership, including income generation and diversification, without the need for property management or significant capital outlays.

What are office REITs? 

Office REITs are a subset of REITs that invest in office properties and corporate buildings, tailoring their portfolios based on specific property characteristics, tenant profiles, or geographic locations. Leading office REITs own properties in key metropolitan regions, including central business districts and other sought-after commercial areas. Such strategic locations draw high-quality tenants and frequently secure top-tier rental fees, which, when effectively managed, can result in larger dividends to investors.

TOP 5 office REITs to invest in

Now that you’ve familiarized yourself with the basics of office REITs, you might be wondering where to start your investment journey. To assist you in this venture, here are five prominent office REITs worth considering: 

  1. Boston Properties (NYSE: BXP); 
  2. Alexandria Real Estate Equities (NYSE: ARE); 
  3. Cousins Properties (NYSE: CUZ);
  4. Vornado Realty Trust (NYSE: VNO);
  5. Kilroy Realty (NYSE: KRC).

1. Boston Properties 

Boston Properties, Inc. (NYSE: BXP) is one of the largest REITs specializing in Class A office spaces concentrated in major urban hubs, including Boston, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. The company boasts a diverse portfolio of 191 commercial assets, covering an impressive 54.1 million square feet in 2023. 

Boston Properties is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) with the ticker BXP, and it’s also a constituent of the S&P 500.

BXP price today

2. Alexandria Real Estate Equities 

Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. (NYSE: ARE) is a REIT that specializes in office spaces tailored for the life science, ag tech, and technology sectors. Headquartered in Pasadena, California, Alexandria’s strategic portfolio spans key innovation hubs and life science clusters, such as Boston, San Francisco, New York City, and San Diego. 

Its shares are publicly available on the NYSE under the ticker ARE.

ARE price today

3. Cousins Properties

Cousins Properties Incorporated (NYSE: CUZ) primarily invests in Class A office buildings located in high-growth Sun Belt markets, including Atlanta, Charlotte, Austin, Phoenix, Tampa, and Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The company is famous for developing iconic properties, including the CNN Center, Omni Coliseum, 191 Peachtree Tower, and Emory Point in Atlanta. 

Cousins Properties shares trade on the NYSE under the stock ticker CUZ; its stock is also a component of the S&P MicCap 400. 

CUZ price today 

4. Vornado Realty Trust

Vornado Realty Trust (NYSE: VNO) is a fully integrated REIT renowned for its premium portfolio of office and retail assets, primarily in New York City, with the PENN DISTRICT as one of its hallmark developments. Apart from its significant presence in New York, Vornado also boasts premier assets in Chicago and San Francisco. Leading the way in sustainability, Vornado has an impressive management of over 26 million square feet of LEED-certified buildings. In fact, their dedication to green practices earned them the Energy Star Partner of the Year Award for Sustained Excellence in 2022 and makes them an excellent office REIT to invest in.

Vornado traded on the NYSE under VNO and is a member of the S&P MidCap 400.

VNO price today 

5. Kilroy Realty

Kilroy Realty Corporation (NYSE: KRC) is a major landlord and developer in the U.S., boasting a remarkable presence in regions including San Diego, Greater Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, the Pacific Northwest, and Austin, Texas. With an impressive portfolio exceeding 14 million square feet, Kilroy delivers top-tier, flexible, and efficient workspaces catering to a diverse array of sectors, such as technology, media, life sciences, entertainment, and professional services.

The company is a publicly traded REIT on the NYSE and a member of the S&P MidCap 400 Index. 

KRC price today

How to invest in office REITs: Step-by-step

Investing in REITs offers a practical approach to capitalizing on the real estate market without directly owning property. Here’s a straightforward guide on how to purchase REITs:

Step 1: Open a brokerage account

A brokerage account is an investment account that lets you buy and sell various securities, including REITs So, you should choose a reputable brokerage firm that aligns with your investment goals. We recommend eToro for this purpose, which is a fully regulated multi-asset investing platform offering:

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eToro is a multi-asset investment platform. The value of your investments may go up or down. Your capital is at risk. eToro USA LLC does not offer CFDs, only real Crypto assets available. Don’t invest unless you’re prepared to lose all the money you invest.

To open an account, you’ll typically need to provide personal details and fund the account through a bank transfer or other means.

Step 2: Research office REITs to invest in

With numerous REITs available, thorough research is essential to identify those that align with your financial objectives and risk tolerance. Hence, we suggest that you use the brokerage’s research tools, industry publications, and financial news outlets to gather information. You should also, look into a REIT’s sector focus (e.g., office, retail, residential), historical performance, dividend yield, and management team. Analyst reports can also provide valuable insights.

Step 3: Place your order and invest in office REITs

After identifying the REIT you wish to invest in, the next step is to initiate a buy order, which will involve the following:

  • Within your brokerage platform, navigate to the trading or order page; 
  • Locate the REIT by its ticker symbol; 
  • Enter the number of shares you wish to purchase (or the dollar amount you wish to invest); 
  • Specify the order type (e.g., market order, limit order); 
  • After reviewing the details, confirm your order.

Step 4: Monitor your investment

As with all investments, it’s vital to keep an eye on your REIT holdings to ensure they remain aligned with your financial goals. You should, therefore, periodically check your brokerage account to view the performance of your REIT investments. Also, stay updated with company news, quarterly earnings reports, and industry trends. Over time, consider rebalancing your portfolio if necessary, either by selling underperforming REITs or buying more of those that are doing well.

Pros and cons of investing in office REITs

Pros

Pros

  • Dividend income: A significant attraction of office REITs is their dividend payout structure. Like other REITs, office REITs are mandated to distribute a majority of their taxable income to shareholders as dividends, offering a consistent and attractive passive income stream;
  • Enhanced liquidity: Because REITs typically trade on major stock exchanges just like stocks, they are easy to buy and sell, making them the most liquid real estate asset;
  • Access to prime real estate: Office REITs predominantly hold properties in prime locations or significant business hubs. Such premier areas might be otherwise inaccessible to individual investors due to the hefty price tags they command;
  • Long-term leases and stable cash flow: With tenants usually locked into extended lease durations, office REITs can bank on a regular and stable cash inflow. This durability also played out during economic downturns like the COVID-19 pandemic, where many office REITs witnessed only a marginal decline in rental revenues;
  • Ongoing demand for office spaces: Despite remote work’s rising popularity, the tangible benefits of an office setup—collaboration, coordination, and heightened productivity—still hold value. Many companies now champion a hybrid working model, meshing remote and office-based work;
  • Asset appreciation: Over time, office buildings generally appreciate in their valuation. This combination of regular income coupled with asset appreciation places office REITs on the radar of institutional investors, including pension funds.
Cons

Cons

  • Tenant-related risks: The financial health of office REITs is closely tied to their tenant portfolio and lease agreements. The financial distress or exit of prominent tenants can spiral into increased vacancies and diminished rental income. The remote working trend, accentuated by the COVID-19 outbreak, has amplified this risk;
  • Sector-specific concentration risks: Investing in office REITs implies a focused bet on the office real estate sector. This intense specialization can magnify losses if the office property segment faces a downturn;
  • Interest Rate Fluctuations: Large-scale office projects require substantial capital, leading REITs to borrow. Variations in interest rates can surge the cost of such borrowing. Additionally, as interest rates ascend, other low-risk investment instruments like bonds become more attractive, potentially deflating REIT stock prices;
  • Oversupply and market saturation: Office projects are often initiated based on speculative demand. If the supply overshoots the actual demand, it can strain occupancy rates and rental prices in certain regions.

Disclaimer: The content on this site should not be considered investment advice. Investing is speculative. When investing, your capital is at risk. 

FAQs about office REITs to invest in

What are office REITs?

Office REITs are real estate investment trusts that primarily own, manage, and lease office spaces. 

Why invest in office REITs over other types of REITs?

Office REITs expose investors to prime real estate locations in major business districts. Due to long-term lease agreements standard in office rentals, these REITs can provide relatively stable and predictable cash flow.

What are the risks associated with investing in office REITs?

Some risks include tenant risk (dependence on the financial stability of tenants), concentrated risk (focus solely on office properties), and potential oversupply of office spaces. External factors, like interest rate fluctuations and changing work habits due to events like the COVID-19 pandemic, can also impact the performance of office REITs.

How do I invest in office REITs?

Investing in office REITs is similar to investing in stocks. Once you’ve opened a brokerage account, you can purchase shares of office REITs just like you would for any publicly traded company. 

How frequently do office REITs pay dividends?

Most REITs, including office REITs, pay dividends quarterly. However, the exact frequency can vary depending on the specific REIT. It’s, therefore, advisable to check the dividend policy of the REIT you’re interested in.

Can I invest in office REITs with a small amount of capital?

Yes, one of the advantages of REITs is that they allow investors to gain exposure to real estate markets without a significant capital outlay. Indeed, shares of REITs are priced at a fraction of the cost compared to direct real estate properties.

Are office REITs affected by interest rate changes?

Office REITs, like other REITs, can be sensitive to interest rate fluctuations. Rising interest rates can increase REIT borrowing costs and make alternative investments such as bonds more attractive, potentially affecting REIT stock prices.

What are the best office REITs to invest in?

Consider investing in office REITs such as Boston Properties, Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Cousins Properties, Vornado Realty Trust, and Kilroy Realty.

Highly Rated Stock Trading & Investing Platform

  • Invest in 2,800+ stocks and other assets including 70+ cryptocurrencies and commodities.

  • 0% commission on buying stocks - buy in bulk or just a fraction from as little as $10.

  • Copy top-performing traders in real time, automatically.

  • Regulated by financial authorities including FCA and FINRA.

2.8 Million Users
eToro is a multi-asset investment platform. The value of your investments may go up or down. Your capital is at risk. eToro USA LLC does not offer CFDs, only real Crypto assets available. Don’t invest unless you’re prepared to lose all the money you invest.

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