The real estate sector is a stronghold of stability in any economy, and the United States is no exception. Apartment renters, commercial or industrial real estate developers, and specialized property managers, many real estate companies are fighting for market share, investors’ interests, and innovation in this key sector.
The top American real estate companies are engaged in a number of operations to develop, acquire, manage, rent, and sell properties. However, not only do they provide a home to millions of Americans, but they are also involved in a number of verticals beyond the obvious housing and residential market. Multiple companies compete in the often eluded but lucrative markets of industrial and commercial property, medical facilities and senior housing, or even communication towers and forests.
Top real estate companies tend to be specialized by vertical to be able to acquire, develop, manage, and rent properties more effectively, compete for market share, and reach better returns on investment. However many of them are also engaged in fierce competition on the financial markets to attract investor’s dollars that will fuel their investments in new buildings and premises in the United States and around the world. Thus, to be more financially effective, most leading real estate companies adopt the structure of Real Estate Investment Trust – REIT.
What is a Real Estate Investment Trust – REIT?
A Real Estate Investment Trust, usually abbreviated as REIT, is a type of company that owns, and often also operates income-producing properties (equity REIT), or finances income-producing properties (mortgage REIT), or both (hybrid REIT). Based on the model of mutual funds, REITs enable the grouping of capital from multiple investors while allowing individual investors to receive dividends from real estate.
Most often traded publicly on stock exchanges like regular stocks, REITs are highly liquid investments that any investor (individuals, companies, institutions…) can acquire and sell. They are usually specialized in a certain type of property (residential, commercial, industrial, medical, data centers, hotels, infrastructure…). but some REITs also have incorporated some level of portfolio and/or geographic diversification.
To be legally considered as a REIT, a company has to comply with certain financial rules (primarily owning and deriving income from real estate, and paying most of its profits as dividends to shareholders), but they can in exchange benefit from reduced corporation tax and capital gains tax. These characteristics make REIT shares very liquid, producing income from dividends, but they often provide little capital appreciation.
The success of the REIT model is very obvious when considering the largest real estate companies: 28 out of the 30 top real estate companies by market capitalization in the US are REITs (the only non-REIT companies on the list are Opendoor and CBRE).
For more information on the largest American companies, download our S&P 500 companies Excel file containing the complete list of the 500 largest publicly listed companies in the US, together with extensive business, market, financial, and digital information on each company. For even more data on the largest US companies, download our Excel files on the Russell 1000 companies, Russell 2000 companies, or Russell 3000 companies.
List of the top 30 largest American real estate companies by market capitalization
To give you a broader view of what companies are in the real estate field in the US, details about the thirty largest companies that make the American property sector, included in the S&P 500 index, have been listed hereafter. Each company is detailed with presentations of its sub-industry, activities, market capitalization, a direct link to its website, logo, and stock symbol.
The top real estate companies listed hereafter are ranked by market capitalization in United States Dollars, as of effective close on Friday, January 29, 2021. They are defined as belonging to specific sub-industries of REITs or Real Estate Services.
Note that if you are searching for information on these companies to invest in their stocks, make sure you know what you are doing as your investment will be subject to significant risks with the evolution of stock prices. To learn more about investing in the stock market and managing your portfolio, check our post on the best online courses on stock investing and trading.
Shortcuts to each real estate company
To facilitate your browsing in this long list, here are quick links to go directly to the details of any of the top 30 American real estate companies. Be sure to also check the Top 10 US real estate companies’ summary after the list!
Annaly Capital Management, Inc. is a mortgage real estate investment trust, investing and financing in residential and commercial properties. As a diversified capital manager, it relies on mortgage-backed securities, loans, equity, and other commercial real estate investments in both the residential and commercial markets to generate and distribute income to its shareholders.
Website: annaly.com – Market Cap.: $11.4 Billion – Stock ticker: NLY
Industry: Diversified REIT
W.P. Carey Inc. is a real estate investment trust specialized in net lease industrial, warehouse, office, and retail properties. It acquires and manages properties to lease them to a wide range of companies across multiple industries, primarily located in the United States, Europe, Canada, Mexico, and Japan.
Website: wpcarey.com – Market Cap.: $11.6 Billion – Stock ticker: WPC
Apartment Income REIT Corp., more simply known as AIR Communities, is a real estate investment trust specialized in apartment communities in the U.S. Dedicated to customer satisfaction, AIR Communities owns and manages apartment communities in key real estate markets including Boston, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and Miami.
Website: aircommunities.com – Market Cap.: $11.8 Billion – Stock ticker: AIRC
Medical Properties Trust, Inc. is a real estate investment trust specialized in net lease medical properties. Operating a number of hospitals and medical facilities, Medical Properties Trust owns medical properties in the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Australia, Italy, Spain, Colombia, and Portugal.
Website: medicalpropertiestrust.com – Market Cap.: $12.2 Billion – Stock ticker: MPW
Vici Properties Inc. is a real estate investment trust specialized in gaming, hospitality, and entertainment properties. With casinos, hotels, including the Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, racetracks and golf courses Vici Properties owns 29 properties across the United States, comprising 47 million square feet and about 18,000 hotel rooms, 200 restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and sportsbooks.
Website: viciproperties.com – Market Cap.: $13.6 Billion – Stock ticker: VICI
Boston Properties, Inc. is a real estate investment trust specializing in office buildings. Involved in about 160 Class A office properties, Boston Properties primarily operates in the areas of Boston, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.
Website: bostonproperties.com – Market Cap.: $14.2 Billion – Stock ticker: BXP
Opendoor Technologies Inc. is a real estate company that purchases homes thanks to an online process, makes repairs, and resells them. Providing instant cash payments to home sellers after they go through an online estimation and walkthrough video, Opendoor provides a simpler and faster-selling experience that has helped it grow quickly to more than 27 markets across the U.S.
Website: opendoor.com – Market Cap.: $14.2 Billion – Stock ticker: OPEN
Duke Realty is a real estate investment trust specializing in industrial properties. It owns, develops, and manages warehouses and distribution centers, primarily used by e-commerce and supply chain companies. Duke Realty has properties throughout the United States, but especially in the Midwest and the South.
Website: dukerealty.com – Market Cap.: $14.7 Billion – Stock ticker: DRE
Extra Space Storage is a real estate investment trust specializing in self-storage units. It owns and operates more than 1,800 storage facilities across the United States, with 1.3 million storage units. Extra Space Storage also maintains solar energy installations on many of its properties.
Website: extraspace.com – Market Cap.: $14.9 Billion – Stock ticker: EXR
Mid-America Apartment Communities, more simply known as MAA, is a real estate investment trust specialized in residential apartments. Operating primarily in the Southeastern and Southwestern United States, MAA owns more than 300 apartment communities.
Website: maac.com – Market Cap.: $15.2 Billion – Stock ticker: MAA
Sun Communities, Inc. is a real estate investment trust involved in the development, acquisition, and operation of housing communities, recreational vehicle resorts, and marinas. Involved in more than 500 communities throughout the United States and Canada, Sun Communities manages, rents, and sells properties in these communities for housing, vacation, notably targeting the 55+ year-olds.
Website: suncommunities.com – Market Cap.: $15.4 Billion – Stock ticker: SUI
Essex Property Trust is a real estate investment trust specializing in apartments. It owns more than 240 apartment complexes, primarily located on the US West Coast, as well as an office building.
Website: essexapartmenthomes.com – Market Cap.: $15.6 Billion – Stock ticker: ESS
Healthpeak Properties, Inc. is a real estate investment trust specialized in life science facilities, medical offices, and senior care housing. With life science campuses in San Francisco, Boston, and San Diego, prominent properties in leading hospitals, and more than 27,000 senior housing units around the US, Healthpeak owns more than $20 billion in real estate properties.
Website: healthpeak.com – Market Cap.: $16 Billion – Stock ticker: PEAK
Invitation Homes Inc. is a real estate investment trust specialized in home leasing. It owns and rents about 80,000 homes in central, southern, and western United States, also providing a range of services including property management, emergency maintenance, smart home technology, and online rent payment.
Website: invitationhomes.com – Market Cap.: $16.5 Billion – Stock ticker: INVH
Ventas, Inc., a real estate investment trust specializing in healthcare real estate. It acquires, develops, and manages a diversified portfolio of properties in seniors housing, medical office, research and innovation, and other healthcare, with more than $36 billion worth of investments.
Website: ventasreit.com – Market Cap.: $17.3 Billion – Stock ticker: VTR
CBRE Group, Inc., is a company dedicated to real estate services and investment. Tracing its origins to 1906, CBRE now offers services for property occupiers including facilities management, project management, sales, and leasing transaction, and consulting. For investors, it provides financial and leasing services, investment and property management, valuation, and development.
Website: cbre.com – Market Cap.: $20.5 Billion – Stock ticker: CBRE
Realty Income Corporation is a real estate investment trust primarily focusing on commercial properties. It owns more than 6,500 properties leased for 10 to 20 years primarily to retail store tenants throughout the United States, in Puerto Rico, and the United Kingdom. Realty Income Corporation thus guarantees a steady cash flow to pay monthly dividends to its stockholders, marketing itself to financial investors with the trademark phrase “The Monthly Dividend Company”.
Website: realtyincome.com – Market Cap.: $22.1 Billion – Stock ticker: O
AvalonBay Communities, Inc. is a real estate investment trust dedicated to residential properties. It develops, redevelops, acquires, and manages more than 75,000 apartment units, located in the New England area, the New York City and Washington, D.C. metropolitan areas, and the states of California, Washington, Florida, and Colorado.
Website: avalonbay.com – Market Cap.: $22.8 Billion – Stock ticker: AVB
Equity Residential is a real estate investment trust specializing in apartments. It owns and operates about 80,000 apartments in 300 properties located in prime markets including, New York City, Boston, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Seattle.
Website: equityapartments.com – Market Cap.: $22.9 Billion – Stock ticker: EQR
Weyerhaeuser Company is a real estate investment trust specializing in timberland. It is involved in the sustainable management of more than 12 million acres of timberland in the US, and more than 14 million acres in Canada, producing timber and wood products. Weyerhaeuser also manages the natural resources, energy, and real estate associated with its land.
Website: weyerhaeuser.com – Market Cap.: $23.3 Billion – Stock ticker: WY
Alexandria Real Estate Equities, more simply known as Alexandria, is a real estate investment trust focusing on offices and laboratories for the tech and life science industries. It owns and operates more than 290 properties primarily in the areas of Greater Boston, San Francisco, and San Diego. Alexandria has developed a venture capital firm investing in life science companies.
Website: are.com – Market Cap.: $24.2 Billion – Stock ticker: ARE
Welltower Inc. is a real estate investment trust specialized in health care infrastructure. It is involved in the development and management of seniors housing, post-acute care, and health systems facilities, hospitals, medical office buildings, and other healthcare properties
Website: welltower.com – Market Cap.: $25.3 Billion – Stock ticker: WELL
SBA Communications Corporation is a real estate investment trust specialized in wireless infrastructure. It develops, operates, and leases various infrastructure and equipment for mobile carriers and wireless broadband providers, such as small cells, indoor/outdoor distributed antenna systems, and traditional cell sites. SBA Communications primarily operates in the United States, Canada, Brazil and Latin America, and South Africa.
Website: sbasite.com – Market Cap.: $29.8 Billion – Stock ticker: SBAC
Simon Property Group, Inc. is a real estate investment trust specializing in retail properties. It owns and operates more than 300 premier shopping, dining, entertainment, and mixed-use properties in 37 US States, and beyond, in North America, Europe, and Asia.
Website: simon.com – Market Cap.: $30.5 Billion – Stock ticker: SPG
Public Storage is a self-storage company operating as a real estate investment trust. Public Storage is the largest self-storage company in the United States and the world, managing more than 2,200 self-storage facilities in the United States, and seven European countries, where it operates under the Shurgard brand.
Website: publicstorage.com – Market Cap.: $39.8 Billion – Stock ticker: PSA
Digital Realty Trust, Inc. is a real estate investment trust specializing in data centers and services of connectivity and cloud. It owns and operates more than 280 data centers in 22 countries, and is especially present in the United States, Europe, and Asia.
Website: digitalrealty.com – Market Cap.: $40.3 Billion – Stock ticker: DLR
Equinix, Inc. is a multinational company dedicated to Internet connection and data centers operating as a real estate investment trust. It manages more than 210 data centers on 5 continents and provides services in data infrastructure, management and connectivity, cloud services, and other related services.
Website: equinix.com – Market Cap.: $65.9 Billion – Stock ticker: EQIX
Crown Castle International Corporation, more simply known as Crow Castle, is a communications infrastructure company operating as a real estate investment trust. It manages more than 40,000 communications towers and small cells and about 80,000 route miles of fiber across the United States.
Website: crowncastle.com – Market Cap.: $68.7 Billion – Stock ticker: CCI
Prologis, Inc. is a multinational real estate investment trust specialized in logistics, also involved in sustainable development and renewable energy production. The world’s leader in industrial real estate, Prologis owns more than 4,600 logistics and distribution centers and facilities in 19 countries of America, Europe, and Asia, representing more than $136 Billion of assets under management.
Website: prologis.com – Market Cap.: $76.3 Billion – Stock ticker: PLD
American Tower Corporation, also known as ATC, is a real estate investment trust specialized in wireless communications infrastructure. It owns and operates more than 180,000 communications sites, with more than 40,000 in the United States and about 140,000 properties in Latin America, Europe, and Africa. American Tower leases space on wireless communications towers and provides in-building services, distributed antenna systems, and managed rooftops services.
Website: americantower.com – Market Cap.: $101 Billion – Stock ticker: AMT
To give you a quick overview of the largest American real estate companies in 2021, here is a synthesizing image regrouping the information of the top 10. Note that you can use this image to embed it on your website and other digital properties using the embed code below.
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Here are the top 30 real estate companies in the US. Do you think they are worth their market capitalization? Do they provide a valuable and convenient service? Do they have too much economic power… and maybe political power too?
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