San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Real Estate Trusts Grew 46% Over Last Year

REAL Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) authorized by the Superintendence of Securities (SUGEVAL) last December possessed $226 million in assets – a 46% increase in assets over the last year, the daily La Nación reported.

REITs are publicly traded companies that buy and hold various kinds of housing, retail, or commercial projects, and obtain income mainly from renting the properties to companies or individual clients.

REITs work like other public companies – investors buy shares that entitle them to part of the company’s assets, as well as dividends from profits generated (TT, Oct. 3, 2003).

The number of people investing in Costa Rican REITs also grew from 1,690 in 2002 to 2,134 in 2003. The average investment rose from $91,861 to $105,982 in that period.

In Costa Rica, the minimum investment needed to buy shares in REITs ranges between $3,500 and $10,000. Private investment-fund administrators manage REITs.

According to Jaime Ubilla, general manager of Improsa SAFI, the sector is growing rapidly and competition is strong. On average, REITs offer 8% in annual dividends.

Arnoldo Ortíz, marketing manager for Interbolsa, says REITs are a solid investment because they are, for the most part, independent from other investment funds and economic indicators.


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