Income investors have to be smiling right now. And the reason may be a bit shocking or counterintuitive. But those looking to score some high yielding REITs, the time to pounce could be now. The opportunity comes courtesy of the Federal Reserve. Yesterday, the Fed cut rates by 0.25 basis points.
For high-yielding REITs, this cut could be a godsend.
To start, with rates lower, high-yielding securities become more in demand and often see their share prices rise. Investors simply can’t get high income from “safe” asset classes as rates dip. That means there are plenty of total returns to be had. Secondly, REITs benefit from lower rates as it reduces their borrowing costs on mortgages and other loans. That leaves plenty of extra cash for investors to pay as increasing dividends.
It’s a win-win. And now could be the best chance to buy some high-yielding REITs before the Fed really starts to make its move. For those looking to boost their income, now is the time to buy.
With the Fed cut coming, here are three high-yielding REITs to buy today.
AGNC Investment Corp (AGNC)
Dividend Yield: 11.10%
While most people think of REITs as property owners, they do come in another flavor. And that’s owning loans, mortgages and other debt tied to various properties. These mortgage REITs (mREITs) essentially own paper tied to either commercial or residential properties. Or sometimes even both. Playing in this pool is high yielder AGNC Investment Corp (NASDAQ:AGNC).
AGNC invests in mortgage bonds and collateralized mortgage obligations tied to residential properties. The kicker is that the mREIT only invests in mortgage-related securities backed by government-sponsored agencies or “agency” bonds. Hence, its ticker symbol. Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Ginnie Mae backed bonds are considered safer as they either come with explicit government backing or extra requirements to get the loan written in the first place.
Lower rates from the Fed are a huge win for AGNC. Mortgage REITs often borrow money at low rates and then invest them in these higher-yielding mortgage bonds. With rates now trending lower, AGNC’s operating costs are decreased and provide with a larger spread of profits. As a REIT, AGNC kicks out much of that cash flow back to investors. And in this case, the stock does so monthly and yields nearly 11%.
With rates falling, AGNC’s dividend is getting that much stronger. That could make it a prime buy in the months ahead.
Medical Properties Trust, Inc. (MPW)
Dividend Yield: 5.65%
Rising healthcare and demand could be one of the biggest mega-trends in the world. A subset issue to all of that is providing locations for all those doctors, research facilities, and hospitals to operate. Those REITs that do operate in this niche can be powerful income plays and Medical Properties Trust (NYSE:MPW) could be one of the highest yielding ones at 5.67%.
As its name implies, Medical Properties Trust focuses its attention on owning healthcare facilities. This includes everything from standard regional/community hospitals to more specialized acute care, ambulatory surgery and children’s hospitals. Moreover, MPW is also considered a hybrid REIT. The firm owns both physical properties and provides financing or invests in loans tied to new hospital construction. That combination provides for a very nice income stream for MPW. The firm has continued to see rising FFO numbers.
That FFO number could keep growing. MPW has continued to expand not only here in the U.S., but overseas as well. The REIT has added properties in the U.K., Germany and even Australia in recent years. And it just announced a big $1.75 billion acquisition that will add another 24 hospitals into its mix. That deal will be instantly accreditive to its cash flows. With rates falling, MPW will be able to make more deals at lower costs.
In the end, MPW could be a powerful high-yielding REIT to own in the quarters ahead.
Tanger Factory Outlet Centers Inc. (SKT)
Dividend Yield: 8.76%
Some of the highest-yielding REITs can be found among the retail wreckage. The rise of e-commerce has hurt many brick-and-mortar retailers. This has resulted in plenty of bankruptcies and store closings across the country. For those investors that own the malls, shopping plazas, and other power centers, this has been a kick right to the head. But not all malls and shopping centers are the same. There are plenty of shopping-focused REITs that have been cast aside in the wreckage.
Tanger Factory Outlet Centers (NYSE:SKT) is one such stock.
For Tanger, the secret is in its operating model. SKT focuses on outlet shopping and in fact, is the largest owner/operator of such assets. The kicker is that outlet shopping tends to be more “destination shopping” in that, consumers plan and make special trips to Tanger’s portfolio of 40 properties. As a result, its product mix is a bit different and the firm’s properties feature a wide range of amenities. Restaurants, movie theaters, and entertainment aren’t replicable via online means. This keeps luring shoppers back for the bargains.
And with many of SKT’s properties being in higher-income areas, people are shopping in spades and will continue to do so if rates are cut. Excluding the sale of four non-core properties last quarter, Tanger’s critical FFO metric increased. Rising FFO/cash flows directly translate into higher dividends.
With a nearly 9% yield, Tanger is a high-yielding REIT that has been wrongfully cast aside.
Disclosure: At the time of writing, Aaron Levitt did not hold a position in any stock mentioned.