Want to invest in real estate but don’t want the hassle of buying property?
You can turn to Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) stocks. Canada REITs invest in residential and commercial properties all across the nation.
I’ve owned property in Calgary, and have written dozens of published articles about REITs.
If you’re looking for the best REITs in Canada, here are my top picks for the best Canadian REITs in 2021.
Best REIT Stocks in Canada
1.H&R REIT Stock
- Ticker: TSX:HR.UN
- Dividend Yield: 9.10%
- Dividend Payout Ratio: 116.01%
- Market Capitalization: $4.53 billion
H&R REIT is a massively diversified REIT. Its portfolio consists of real estate assets of retail, industrial, and residential properties spread throughout continental North America.
It has 40 million square feet of leasable space that allow the company to pay its shareholders a high dividend yield. It is experiencing weakness due to the recent sell-off resulting from the ensuing coronavirus-fueled market crash.
2.Artis REIT Stock
- Ticker: TSX:AX.UN
- Dividend Yield: 5.08%
- Dividend Payout Ratio: 75%
- Market Capitalization: $1.54 billion
Artis is a REIT in the midst of reconfiguring its portfolio so it can reduce its exposure to retail and office sectors.
It is increasing its focus on high-quality industrial properties in Canada and the U.S. to create a more geographically diverse portfolio. It is an attractive REIT due to its discounted share prices owing to the recession.
3.Slate Office REIT Stock
- Ticker: TSX:SOT.UN
- Dividend Yield: 11.41%
- Dividend Payout Ratio: 142.74%
- Market Capitalization: $458.31 million
Slate REIT is a Canada-based open-ended REIT focused on acquiring, owning, and leasing revenue-generating commercial properties in the U.S. Its portfolio consists of properties across 20 states in the U.S., primarily composed of grocery-anchored retail stores.
The recent sell-off has dropped the share prices and increased the dividend yield to attractive figures for shareholders.
4.Killam Apartment REIT Stock
- Ticker: TSX:KMP.UN
- Dividend Yield: 3.32%
- Dividend Payout Ratio: 29.53%
- Market Capitalization: $2.08 billion
Killam Apartment REIT is a residential REIT that enjoys decreased risk from a housing market bubble. It owns, operates, and develops manufactured home community (MHC) properties in the Atlantic coast, Alberta, and Ontario areas.
Since real estate investors rarely turn to MHCs due to the affordability, Killam’s assets are safe from highly inflated prices. I think it could be a fantastic defensive REIT.
5.Choice Properties REIT Stock
- Ticker: TSX:CHP.UN
- Dividend Yield: 5.58%
- Dividend Payout Ratio: 31.69%
- Market Capitalization: $4.38 billion
Choice Properties is a defensive REIT that consists primarily of commercial and retail properties. Its clientele includes well-established tenants like Loblaw.
It has a long-standing association with high-quality tenants. It enjoys decent revenue through more than 700 properties located in various locations. Its portfolio consists primarily of retail properties followed by industrial, development, office and residential properties.
6.Crombie REIT Stock
- Ticker: TSX:CRR.UN
- Dividend Yield: 7.12%
- Dividend Payout Ratio: 1,302.52%
- Market Capitalization: $2.07 billion
Crombie is one of Canada’s leading national retail property REITs. The primary focus of the trust is owning, operating, and developing a portfolio of high-quality rental properties to generate a decent income.
Crombie’s portfolio consists of more than 280 commercial properties spread across Canada’s top urban and suburban markets. The company is rapidly growing and can become a significant entity in Canada’s fastest-growing metropolitan areas.
7.BTB REIT Stock
- Ticker: TSX:BTB.UN
- Dividend Yield: 9.31%
- Dividend Payout Ratio: 65.63%
- Market Capitalization: $309.82 million
BTB is one of the most impressive REITs I have seen trading on the TSX. It is among the highest dividend-paying stocks in the real estate industry. The REIT has been performing well over the past couple of years.
The open-ended REIT’s operating segment includes industrial, office, retail, and mixed-use properties. It enjoys relative insulation from the broader market pullback, offering shareholders a defensive option to consider.
8.Northview Apartment REIT Stock
- Ticker: TSX:NVU.UN (Note that Northview was sold in November 2020 for $4.6 billion and is no longer available for trading)
- Dividend Yield: 4.81%
- Dividend Payout Ratio: 46.46%
- Market Capitalization: $2.33 billion
Northview Apartment REIT is a stable residential REIT that owns a portfolio of more than 27,000 units across eight provinces and two territories.
It offers its shareholders a decent dividend yield with a sustainable payout ratio. Where most residential REITs offer low dividend yields, Northview offers one of the best due to its high-quality portfolio.
9.Canadian Apartment Properties REIT Stock
- Ticker: TSX:CAR.UN
- Dividend Yield: 2.57%
- Dividend Payout Ratio: 18.20%
- Market Capitalization: $9.38 billion
Canadian Apartment Properties REIT is a resilient performer on the TSX. While the recession is busy tearing up REITs, CAPREIT’s decline is substantially lower compared to the broader market pullback.
CAP REIT offers its shareholders the opportunity to capitalize on its portfolio 65,000 rental apartments, townhouse suites, and MHCs in various areas across Canada, Ireland, and the Netherlands.
Its geographical diversity is offering the REIT insulation, but there is a potential for a further discounted price as the recession continues.
10.InterRent REIT Stock
- Ticker: TSX:IIP.UN
- Dividend Yield: 1.82%
- Dividend Payout Ratio: 9.26%
- Market Capitalization: $2.18 billion
InterRent is a REIT with a unique ability to find problematic properties. It looks for properties that carry certain baggage.
It could be sub-par management, outdated units, or a dire need for renovation and restoration. The REIT purchases these properties for a massive discount; it spruces up the properties, and bring the properties up to higher standards.
The business model is risky, but the top brass takes every possible measure to mitigate the risks, and the REIT continues to grow.
11.Boardwalk REIT Stock
- Ticker: TSX:BEI.UN
- Dividend Yield: 3.41%
- Dividend Payout Ratio: 133.44%
- Market Capitalization: $1.46 billion
Boardwalk is a mid-market capitalization residential REIT with a long-standing reputation for its high occupancy rates, consistent growth, and overall exemplary success.
The REIT had its fair share of trouble due to its overexposure to Alberta. Five years ago, Alberta’s markets came crashing down as the oil prices fell.
Since then, Boardwalk has diversified its portfolio, disposed of its non-core assets, and diversified its overall holdings to build a more reliable reputation in the industry. It is a substantial operator of residential properties, and it is amid a seemingly successful turnaround.
12.WPT Industrial REIT Stock
- Ticker: TSX:WIR.U
- Dividend Yield: 7.08%
- Dividend Payout Ratio: 48.24%
- Market Capitalization: $999.11 million
WPT Industrial is a REIT with a portfolio consisting of light industrial properties. It has a significant presence in the U.S., and it has been producing fantastic results for the past several years.
The REIT boasts an impressive 99.5% occupancy rate and a 27% year-over-year increase in its net operating income. Its tenants consist of high-quality companies, including Amazon.
It is a stock well poised to rebound substantially as the markets recover from the effects of the coronavirus-fueled recession.
13.Cominar REIT Stock
- Ticker: TSX:CUF.UN
- Dividend Yield: 5.71%
- Dividend Payout Ratio: 28.35%
- Market Capitalization: $2.39 billion
Cominar is among the most significant diversified REITs in the country. The stock was one of the surprise top performers on the TSX among its peers in 2019. It calls itself the largest commercial property owner in the province of Quebec.
The REIT has a portfolio comprising of more than 330 retail, office, industrial, and mixed-use properties. The company’s pursuit of stability resulted in its fantastic results as its occupancy rate increased, and the REIT managed to increase its average net rent. The REIT’s restructuring efforts have made it an attractive option to consider.
14.Granite REIT Stock
- Ticker: TSX:GRT.UN
- Dividend Yield: 4.87%
- Dividend Payout Ratio: 39.68%
- Market Capitalization: $3.31 billion
As the markets crumble, I think it would be safe to assume that you are looking for reliable assets for investment. Granite is a REIT that has seen its shares decline sharply along with the broader market, but the REIT looks rock solid.
Granite transformed into one of Canada’s largest and highest-quality industrial REITs in the past few years. Its portfolio consists of more than 40 million square feet of leasable space across the U.S., Canada, and Europe.
Its geographically diverse portfolio allows Granite to outperform the REIT index. It can achieve that due to a tremendous balance sheet and its move towards e-commerce properties.
15.Dream Industrial REIT Stock
- Ticker: TSX:DIR.UN
- Dividend Yield: 7.04%
- Dividend Payout Ratio: 53.38%
- Market Capitalization: $1.57 billion
Dream Industrial REIT was one of the best-performing REITs on the TSX throughout 2019. The stock gained around 40% at a time when the S&P/TSX Composite Index grew by less than 20%.
It delivered attractive returns for shareholders, and it is busy reorganizing its portfolio to unlock more substantial value for investors. Dream Global REIT is its expansion into the light industrial property markets in Germany and the Netherlands.
16.Allied Properties REIT Stock
- Ticker: TSX:AP.UN
- Dividend Yield: 3.42%
- Dividend Payout Ratio: 28.60%
- Market Capitalization: $6.05 billion
Allied Properties REIT is a low-risk operator in Canada’s real estate sector. It has a portfolio comprised primarily of office buildings in large metropolitan Canadian cities. Most of the offices in AP’s portfolio are Class I buildings.
It means the company enjoys a high-quality tenant base for a premium rent. It has an impressive occupancy rate of more than 96%. The Canadian Dividend Aristocrat could be an attractive option to consider.
17.Morguard REIT Stock
- Ticker: TSX:MRG.UN
- Dividend Yield: 4.11%
- Dividend Payout Ratio: 34.64%
- Market Capitalization: $704.19 million
Morguard North American Residential REIT has experienced steady growth over the past few years, generating positive cash flow.
It pays a respectably juicy dividend yield to its shareholders within a sustainable payout ratio. Its focus on residential properties, as well as a presence in several provinces, give Morguard REIT decent insulation through diversity.
The REIT has plenty of room to grow into several markets, and it has the potential to climb higher.
18.SmartCentres REIT Stock
- Ticker: TSX:SRU.UN
- Dividend Yield: 7.38%
- Dividend Payout Ratio: 97.65%
- Market Capitalization: $3.77 billion
SmartCentres REIT is one of the most substantial and fully integrated REITs trading on the TSX. The company has an excess of $10 billion in assets.
With over 150 properties spread across the country, it has roughly 34.1 million square feet in leasable space. The REIT’s clientele consists of heavy-hitting retail companies like Best Buy, Dollarama, and Walmart.
It has a high payout ratio but a sustainable one due to its high-quality tenant base.
19.Summit Industrial Income REIT Stock
- Ticker: TSX:SMU.UN
- Dividend Yield: 5.18%
- Dividend Payout Ratio: 41.66%
- Market Capitalization: $1.48 billion
Real estate investment trusts are never counted among top-ranking growth stocks trading on the TSX. Summit REIT, however, is the rare exception.
The REIT focuses on owning and operating light industrial properties in the country. It boasts an ultra-high occupancy rate that allows the REIT to generate substantial cash flow. It has a sustainable dividend payout ratio and the ability to maintain a compounded annual growth rate of 8%.
20.PRO REIT Stock
- Ticker: TSX:PRV.UN
- Dividend Yield: 11.17%
- Dividend Payout Ratio: 106.50%
- Market Capitalization: $225.54 million
PRO REIT is a Canada-based open-ended REIT with a focus on acquiring and managing commercial real estate properties. The REIT owns over 90 properties and roughly 4.4 million square feet of leasable area across Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Alberta, and Quebec.
Its retail segment accounts for more than half of the REIT’s revenue. The industrial and commercial mixed-use assets provide the remainder of its income. The REIT is among Canada’s top growth REITs with a phenomenal dividend yield.
21.CT REIT Stock
- Ticker: TSX:CRT.UN
- Dividend Yield: 5.55%
- Dividend Payout Ratio: 63.68%
- Market Capitalization: $3.46 billion
CT REIT could be more of a conservative pick among REITs. It is a more unconventional REIT to consider. The trust owns more than 27.6 million square feet of leasable space distributed throughout 357 properties.
It has investment-grade tenants that account for most of its revenue. The most substantial income for the REIT comes from Canadian Tire itself. It enjoys long-term contracts, it offers a juicy dividend yield, and it has a sustainable payout ratio to support its dividends.
22.Nexus REIT Stock
- Ticker: TSX:NXR.UN
- Dividend Yield: 8.51%
- Dividend Payout Ratio: 40.92%
- Market Capitalization: $218.59 million
Nexus is a REIT that formed through the merger between Edgefront and Noble REITs. Its portfolio consists of 71 properties. Most of its assets are industrial properties, followed by retail properties and offices.
The diversified portfolio of this REIT gives it a measure of insulation from the market crash. The stock is dirt-cheap compared to other REITs. It has high-quality tenants, but it has plenty of room to grow.
Its recent acquisitions and high-potential development projects can allow it to sustain its high dividend payout ratio. It could be a fantastic pick through a recession.
23.Inovalis REIT Stock
- Ticker: TSX:INO.UN
- Dividend Yield: 10.24%
- Dividend Payout Ratio: 89.51%
- Market Capitalization: $243.03 million
Inovalis is a Europe-centric REIT that operates and owns commercial buildings across lucrative urban real estate markets throughout Germany and France.
The stock’s exposure to European markets insulate its revenue from any possible housing market bubble in domestic operations. It does not have a massive portfolio, but its high-quality assets can allow Inovalis to sustain its dividend yield.
24.True North Commercial REIT Stock
- Ticker: TSX:TNT.UN
- Dividend Yield: 9.55%
- Dividend Payout Ratio: 208.24%
- Market Capitalization: $565.23 million
True North Commercial is an Ontario-based Canadian REIT. It has the most substantial portfolio of properties in Ontario. The REIT owns almost 50 commercial properties, and 31 of them are based in Ontario.
The REIT’s primary focus is on commercial properties. The management’s approach to aggressive acquisition has been fruitful for the company. The REIT maintains a high occupancy rate, and it is particular about choosing its tenants carefully.
It goes with long-term agreements with high-quality tenants to earn stable revenue. The REIT continues to grow, and it could offer substantial long-term gains for its shareholders.
How to buy Canadian REIT stocks
My favourite ways to buy REIT stocks in Canada are the following:
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Those were my top picks for the best REITs in Canada.
I’ve already written about the best Canadian dividend stocks to buy and hold in your portfolio this year.
Will you purchase a REIT this year? Leave me a comment below to let me know.