10 Largest REITs in the World

REITs, more formally known as real estate investment trusts, are companies that own and operate income-producing real estate. REITs often invest in a wide variety of commercial properties, ranging from office complexes and public self-storage to timberlands and shopping centers. Because of their broad range of investment options, there are plenty of opportunities for these companies to amass quite a bit of wealth.

So, just how large can REITs get? Today we’ll be looking at the 10 largest REITs in the world and learning about each company’s market areas. In this list, we’ll be ranking each REIT according to its market capitalization, or “market cap,” which is the market value of its outstanding shares.

  1. Digital Realty Trust

Market Cap: $22.2 billion
Headquarters Location: California
Year Founded: 2004
CEO: A. William Stein

Digital Realty Trust
Source: wikimedia.org

Digital Realty Trust chooses to specifically invest in carrier-neutral data centers while also providing a global network of peering and colocation services. The company anticipates continued growth during future years as the data center market continues to expand.

Did You Know?

In 2015, Digital Realty Trust sold a Philadelphia building that it had previously acquired in 2005 at an expense of $59 million. The company sold the building for a much heftier price of $161 million!

  1. AvalonBay Communities

Market Cap: $23.3 billion
Headquarters Location: Virginia, USA
Year Founded: 1978
CEO: Timothy J. Naughton

AvalonBay Communities
Source: wikimedia.org

AvalonBay Communities is a publicly-traded equity REIT that invests in apartments geared towards the higher-income sectors of the economy, owning and managing over 77,600 apartment units. AvalonBay Communities has been tailoring itself to the rising demand for mixed-use environments, choosing locations in close proximity to convenient commodities.

Did You Know?

AvalonBay prides itself on developing and managing more multifamily rental apartment communities than any of its American competitors, often choosing population-dense areas for new expansions.

  1. Equity Residential

Market Cap: $23.7 billion
Headquarters Location: Illinois, USA
Year Founded: 1969
CEO: David Neithercut

Equity Residential
Source: wikimedia.org

This REIT primarily invests in apartments, and is the third largest apartment owner in the United States. Listed on the S&P 500 since 2001, Equity Residential saw its apartment ownership skyrocket during the following years. A recent decline in demand for rented apartments in certain areas, however, has resulted in the company selling a number of its buildings in Manhattan.

Did You Know?

Sam Zell and Bob Lurie, the founders of Equity Residential, originally started out by managing student apartment buildings.

  1. Weyerhaeuser

Market Cap: $27.9 billion
Headquarters Location: Washington, USA
Year Founded: 1900
CEO: Doyle Simons

Source: wikimedia.org

The Weyerhaeuser Company is one of the world’s largest private owners and managers of timberlands, handling 12.4 million acres of timberlands in the United States and 14 million acres in Canada. The company has certainly grown since its humble beginnings with only 900,000 acres to its name! Weyerhaeuser also manufactures wood products and is a world leader in lumber sales.

Did You Know?

The Weyerhaeuser Company was founded by Frederick Weyerhaeuser, a German-born immigrant and sawmill worker.

  1. Equinix, Inc.

Market Cap: $32.8 billion
Headquarters Location: California, USA
Year Founded: 1998
CEO: Peter Van Camp

Equinix, Inc.
Source: wikimedia.org

Equinix, an American multinational company, specializes in services related to internet connectivity. This corporation maintains a network of colocation data centers or “carrier hotels” where retail customers can rent space, bandwidth, and related equipment. Equinix has collaborated with hybrid IT infrastructure monitoring company ScienceLogic in order to streamline customers’ access to the public cloud.

Did You Know?

Considered to be an industry leader in Singapore, Equinix has invested $85 million in the construction of a fourth data center in the city.

  1. ProLogis

Market Cap: $34.1 billion
Headquarters Location: California, USA
Year Founded: 1983
CEO: Hamid R. Moghadam

Source: wikipedia.org

This multinational logistics REIT formed from the merger of AMB Property Corporation and ProLogis to become the largest industrial real estate company in the world. Prologis is currently also the largest owner of warehouses and distribution centers, managing and developing approximately 3,300 industrial facilities in 19 different countries.

Did You Know?

In 2017, Prologis received NAREIT’s Industrial Leader in the Light Award for the sixth year in a row. The company has taken numerous measure to lessen the impact of real estate practices upon the environment.

  1. Public Storage

Market Cap: $38.0 billion
Headquarters Location: California, USA
Year Founded: 1977
CEO: Ronald L. Havner, Jr.

Public Storage
Source: wikimedia.org

Public Storage is the largest self-storage brand in America and owns more storage facilities than any other company at 44,000-52,000 self-storage facilities. “Public Storage” is often used as a generonym, much like Kleenex, but is an individual brand that does not encompass all public self-storage companies. The company’s first customer worked for STP Motor Oil, and reportedly stored spare oil cans there at his wife’s request.

Did You Know?

During the year 2017, Public Storage earned twice what the next-largest storage company, Extra Space Storage, did.

  1. Crown Castle International Corp.

Market Cap: $42.5 billion
Headquarters Location: Texas, USA
Year Founded: 1994
CEO: Jay Brown

Crown Castle International Corp.
Source: wikimedia.org

Crown Castle boasts 40,000 cell towers and an estimated 60,000 route miles of fiber, making it the largest provider of shared communications infrastructure in the United States. Crown Castle has benefited greatly from the steadily increasing demand for mobile devices and wireless communication. The company is confident in its future success, since appliances and autonomous cars will soon be going digital as well.

Did You Know?

The Crown Castle Corporation has entered into tower leasing agreements with big names such as T-Mobile USA and AT&T Mobility.

  1. Simon Property Group

Market Cap: $55.2 billion
Headquarters Location: Indiana, USA
Year Founded: 1993
CEO: David E. Simon

Simon Property Group
Source: wikimedia.org

Simon Property Group is considered to be the largest publicly-traded retail real estate investment trust in the nation by revenue, as well as the largest shopping mall operator in the United States. This company chiefly manages and develops retail properties, providing shopping centers such as Simon Premium Outlets and The Mills.

Did You Know?

Simon Property Group is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange, and has held a place on the Fortune 500 list for 5 years.

  1. American Tower

Market Cap: $74.0 billion
Headquarters Location: Massachusetts, USA
Year Founded: 1995
CEO: James D. Taiclet, Jr.

American Tower
Source: wikimedia.org

The American Tower Corporation is the largest REIT in the world by market cap. It was originally formed in 1995 as a unit of American Radio Systems, and spun off on its own when American Radio Systems partnered with the CBS Corporation. American Tower officially became a REIT in 2012, reaching a milestone of 50,000 communications sites within the same year.

Did You Know?

American Tower now owns or manages 170,000 sites and employs 4,752 people. The corporation has offices in countries all around the globe and has seen a steady increase in revenue over the past few years.

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