- January 1, 2011: Vol. 5, Number 1

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Full of Possibilities: The Benefits of National REITs Are Accepted Already But Potential Exists for Further Substantive Development

by Gareth Lewis

It is now widely accepted that, for investors, REITs represent a liquid, transparent and professionally managed asset class that allows for diversified exposure to real estate returns over the medium to long term and high cash dividends. But less often considered in Europe, perhaps, are the collective benefits that the growth of REITs and the listed property sector can deliver as a whole.

One of the key features of REITs is to prevent double taxation for investors (at the corporate and shareholder level). Of course, for governments considering the introduction of a REIT regime, the resulting reduction in regular corporation tax receipts can be a concern, especially at a time when government finances are under strain. So why would any government decide to establish a REIT regime? The pursuit of general interest does not explain it all, and an often overlooked fact is that REITs trigger significant and reliable tax revenues for governments.


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