The growth of the DST industry is being driven by 1031 investors.

by The Real Estate Buyers


The DST (Delaware Statutory Trust) industry has been experiencing significant growth, and 1031 investors are playing a major role in this expansion. 1031 investors are individuals or businesses that are looking to defer paying capital gains taxes on the sale of a property by reinvesting the proceeds into a “like-kind” property. The DST industry provides a convenient and efficient solution for these investors by offering them a stake in a professionally managed, income-generating property.

1031 investors have been attracted to the DST industry due to its ability to offer a high level of diversification, stability, and consistent income. The trusts are managed by professional real estate investment firms, which ensures that the properties are well-maintained and generate a steady stream of income for the investors. The trusts also offer the benefits of ownership in a large-scale commercial property, such as reduced risk and increased liquidity.

Another key factor contributing to the growth of the DST industry is the recent changes to the tax code. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 made significant changes to the rules governing 1031 exchanges, making it more challenging for investors to complete these transactions. However, the DST industry has adapted to these changes and continues to provide a viable solution for 1031 investors.

The growth of the DST industry is being fueled by 1031 investors who are seeking a reliable and efficient solution for deferring capital gains taxes. The industry provides a unique investment opportunity for those looking for diversification, stability, and consistent income, and is well-positioned to continue its growth in the years to come.

DST Industry More Than Just 1031 Investors

The DST industry is not just limited to 1031 investors, it has also attracted traditional real estate investors and those seeking to add commercial real estate to their investment portfolio. The DST industry offers the benefits of commercial real estate investment, such as steady income, potential for appreciation, and tax benefits, without the headaches of property management. As a result, it has become an increasingly popular option for individuals and institutions looking to diversify their investments and take advantage of the benefits of commercial real estate ownership.

Despite the recent growth and popularity of the DST industry, it is important to remember that like any investment, there are risks involved. Before investing in a DST, it is crucial to thoroughly research the trust and the underlying properties, as well as the management team responsible for the properties. Additionally, it is important to understand the terms of the investment and the responsibilities of the investors, as well as the potential for returns and the tax implications. Nevertheless, for those willing to do their due diligence, the DST industry provides a compelling opportunity to invest in commercial real estate and potentially achieve long-term financial success.

The rise of the DST industry has been fueled by several factors, including the growing demand for alternative investments, the desire for passive income, and the tax advantages associated with 1031 exchanges. According to a report by Mountain Dell Consulting, the DST industry has experienced a compound annual growth rate of over 30% since 2010, with assets under management reaching $5.6 billion in 2022 [1].

One of the key drivers of this growth has been the increasing popularity of 1031 exchanges, which allow investors to defer capital gains taxes on the sale of an investment property by reinvesting the proceeds into a “like-kind” property. DSTs qualify as like-kind properties under Section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code, making them an attractive option for investors looking to defer taxes and diversify their real estate holdings [2].

In addition to the tax advantages, DSTs offer investors a unique opportunity to diversify across multiple property types and geographic regions. Unlike traditional real estate investments, which are often concentrated in a single property or a small portfolio of properties, DSTs provide exposure to a diverse range of commercial real estate assets, including multifamily housing, retail centers, office buildings, and industrial properties. This diversification helps to mitigate risk and provide a more stable stream of income for investors [3].

Another factor contributing to the growth of the DST industry is the increasing demand for passive income streams, particularly among retirees and those nearing retirement age. DSTs provide a hands-off approach to real estate investing, as the properties are professionally managed by experienced real estate firms. This appeals to investors who want to enjoy the benefits of real estate ownership without the day-to-day responsibilities of being a landlord [4].

Despite the many advantages of investing in DSTs, it is important for investors to carefully evaluate the risks and potential downsides. One potential concern is the lack of control over the management of the properties, as investors in a DST are essentially passive participants. Additionally, DSTs are illiquid investments, meaning that investors may have limited opportunities to sell their interests or access their capital [5].

Another potential risk is the possibility of changes in tax laws or regulations that could impact the tax benefits associated with DSTs and 1031 exchanges. Investors should also be aware of the fees and expenses associated with DSTs, which can vary depending on the sponsor and the specific investment offering [6].

Overall, the DST industry has proven to be a compelling investment opportunity for 1031 investors and others seeking exposure to commercial real estate. As the industry continues to grow and evolve, it will be important for investors to stay informed and work closely with qualified professionals to navigate the complexities of these investments and ensure that they align with their overall financial goals and risk tolerance.

References: [1] Mountain Dell Consulting, “2022 DST Industry Report,” accessed March 7, 2024, [2] Internal Revenue Service, “Like-Kind Exchanges Under IRC Section 1031,” accessed March 7, 2024, [3] Realized Holdings, “The Benefits of Diversification in Real Estate Investing,” accessed March 7, 2024, [4] Forbes, “The Rise of Passive Real Estate Investing,” accessed March 7, 2024, [5] Investopedia, “Delaware Statutory Trust (DST) Risks and Drawbacks,” accessed March 7, 2024, [6] Nerd Wallet, “Understanding Fees for Delaware Statutory Trusts (DSTs),” accessed March 7, 2024, & for investment opportunities in direct ownership investment-grade assets.