Exploring a Career as a Financial Advisor in Singapore? Talk to us today!

Investing in REITs vs. Property Ownership in Singapore

Investing in real estate can take various forms, each offering unique opportunities and challenges. In Singapore, two prominent avenues for real estate investment are Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) and direct ownership of physical properties.

While both approaches provide exposure to the real estate market, they diverge significantly in their mechanisms and characteristics. Understanding these distinctions is crucial for investors seeking to make informed decisions about where to allocate their capital.

In this discussion, we will explore the differences between investing in REITs and investing directly in physical real estate properties in Singapore, highlighting key aspects such as risk, liquidity, management involvement, and potential returns. By examining these factors, investors can better assess which option aligns with their investment goals, risk tolerance, and preferences.

Pros of Investing in REITs


REITs are publicly traded, making it easy to buy and sell shares quickly on stock exchanges, unlike physical properties which are illiquid investments.


REITs provide instant diversification across multiple properties and geographic locations with a single investment.

Professional Management

REITs are managed by professional real estate teams, eliminating the need for direct property management responsibilities.

Low Investment Minimum

REITs have relatively low investment minimums, making them accessible to smaller investors.

Passive Income

REITs are required to distribute at least 90% of their taxable income as dividends, providing a steady stream of passive income.

Pros of Investing Directly in Real Estate Properties


Investors can use mortgage financing to increase their investment exposure and potential returns.

Appreciation Potential

Direct property ownership allows investors to benefit from the full appreciation of the asset.

Tax Benefits

Owning physical real estate provides tax deductions for expenses like mortgage interest, property taxes, and depreciation.


Direct property owners have complete control over the management and decision-making for their assets.

Potential for Higher Returns

Well-managed rental properties can generate higher returns than REITs, but with higher risk and effort.

Cons of Investing in REITs

Limited Control

Investors have no direct control over the REIT’s operations or property decisions.

Potential Dilution

REITs may issue additional shares to raise capital, diluting existing shareholders.

Interest Rate Sensitivity

REITs can be negatively impacted by rising interest rates, which can increase borrowing costs and decrease property values.

Cons of Investing Directly in Real Estate Properties


Physical properties are illiquid assets that can be difficult and costly to sell quickly.

Management Responsibilities

Direct property ownership requires active management, maintenance, and tenant relations.

High Investment Minimum

Purchasing a single property typically requires a substantial upfront investment.

Concentration Risk

Owning a single property exposes investors to higher risk due to lack of diversification.

Evaluating REITs and Property Investment in Singapore

Deciding Between Investing in Determining the precise returns on property investments, whether through direct ownership or Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), in Singapore can be intricate due to various factors at play. Here’s a comprehensive breakdown to help you navigate this complexity:

When evaluating rental yield, it’s vital to understand its representation of the annual rental income as a percentage of the property’s total value. Presently, Singapore’s rental yields typically range between 2.35% to 3.00%. For instance, on a property valued at S$1,000,000, one might anticipate earning approximately S$23,500 to S$30,000 annually in rental income.

In terms of capital gains, investors focus on the potential appreciation in property value over time. Although Singapore’s property market has historically demonstrated growth, forecasting future trends remains uncertain and may not always mirror past performance.

Furthermore, it’s crucial to consider ongoing expenses that could impact overall profitability. These expenses encompass fluctuating mortgage repayment interest, property tax, maintenance fees, agent’s commission, as well as renovation and furnishing costs (if necessary).

In comparison, investing in Singapore REITs has traditionally been appealing, offering stable passive income averaging 4% to 8% in returns annually. Top-performing REITs over the long term (based on CAGR since listing) include Keppel DC REIT, Ascendas REIT, Mapletree Logistics Trust, and Parkway Life REIT. Despite challenges such as inflation and significant interest rate hikes, Singapore REITs managed to achieve an average dividend return of 7.6% in 2022, and the largest Singapore REITs are projected to average a dividend yield of around 5.6% in 2024, which will outperform benchmarks like the Straits Times Index (STI) and fixed-income instruments such as Singapore Savings Bonds, fixed deposits, and savings accounts.

In a nutshell, REITs offer liquidity, diversification, and passive income, while direct property ownership provides potential for higher returns, tax benefits, and control, but with higher risk and management responsibilities. The choice between the two depends on an investor’s goals, risk tolerance, and willingness to be actively involved in property management.

By meticulously analyzing these components and staying updated on current market conditions, you can gain valuable insights into the potential returns associated with real estate investments in Singapore. However, it’s crucial to acknowledge that success in this field is not guaranteed, and all investment entails inherent risks and responsibilities.

Open chat
Thank you for contacting Insurance Jobs! Let us know how we can help!