REITs Through the Years

1960

REITs were created in 1960 when the U.S. Congress passed, and President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed into law, the Cigar Excise Tax Extension Act, which contained within it the initial Federal tax legislation authorizing REITs in the United States. This tax legislation was intentionally patterned after the tax rules governing mutual funds (regulated investment companies), a type of investment structure first adopted two decades earlier meant to provide the public with an efficient means for investing in diversified portfolios of corporate securities.

NAREIT is incorporated and continues today as the worldwide representative voice for REITs and publicly traded real estate companies with an interest in U.S. real estate and capital markets.

EdR - Campus West Syracuse University - Syracuse, NY

1960-1961

The first REITs are created. Three of the original six are still in existence today.

1965

The first REIT is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

1969

The first European REIT legislation is passed in the Netherlands. This begins the global spread of the REIT model.

1972

The first REIT index is launched.

1976

A package of REIT simplification amendments is signed into law by President Ford. It allows REITs to be established as either trusts or corporation.

1985

The National Real Estate Stock Fund is formed as the first open-end mutual fund dedicated to REITs.

1985

The first health care REIT is established.

1986

President Reagan signs into law more REIT simplifications, including one that allows REITs to be managed, like other companies, by their own internal management teams instead of by outside advisers, as mutual funds are.

1993

Legislation signed by President Clinton makes it easier for pension plans to invest in REITs.

1994

The first life sciences REIT is created.

Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. - Alexandria Center - New York City, NY

1999

The first publicly traded timberland and telecommunications tower REITs are created.

Weyerhaeuser - New Bern Pine Forest - NC

American Tower - Blood Hill Road Tower - Windsor, VT

2000

REIT Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) appear for the first time.

2004

President Bush signs into law provisions of the REIT Improvement Act that allow REITs to manage their day-to-day business operations more effectively for the benefit of their shareholders.

2004

The first publicly traded data center REIT appears.

2008

The REIT Investment and Diversification Act becomes law, allowing REITs to buy and sell real estate assets more efficiently.

2010

REITs and NAREIT celebrate their 50th anniversary.

2013

The first stock exchange listed farmland REIT is established.

2015

The first publicly traded electric transmission infrastructure REIT is established.

2015

The Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) was reauthorized, extending the federal program credited with stabilizing the insurance marketplace in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

2015

President Barack Obama signed the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015. The PATH Act included measures designed to ease the provisions in the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act (FIRPTA) of 1980 impeding foreign investment in U.S. real estate and infrastructure.