That leaves plenty of room for U.S. investors to capitalize on the opportunities in the international space. Since the mid-90s, nearly 30 different countries — from Singapore to France — have adopted the real estate investment trust tax structure.
By focusing our real estate dollars outside of the United States borders, we gain access to inefficiencies in pricing. Globalization, while giving emerging areas access to capital investment, has not changed the supply and demand dynamics or other local operating characteristics intrinsic to real estate markets.
Yet, as Charles Sizemore points out, it can be difficult for regular retail investors to get their hands on shares of individual international REITs. Although international exchange access is growing, many investors still don’t have local access in their brokerage accounts, while ADRs of global REITs barely trade at all.
The secret is to think broad and exchange-traded. The exchange-traded fund boom has provided all the firepower investors need to gain access to various foreign landholders and REITs. Here are three of the best.