1031 Exchange Investors Are Choosing DST Properties for Passive Real Estate Ownership

By Jason Salmon

Senior Vice President; Managing Director of Real Estate Analytics – Kay Properties & Investments, LLC

Over the course of the past several years, Kay Properties has observed incremental growth in the number of investors choosing Delaware Statutory Trusts (DSTs) as a preferred means of passive real estate investing for like-kind, tax-deferred 1031 exchanges.

1031 Exchange Basics

Per section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code, real estate investors—under specific guidelines—may potentially defer their capital gains tax, depreciation recapture tax, and other taxes (each investor should consult their own CPA/attorney since every situation is unique). Upon the sale of investment real estate, the proceeds would go to a Qualified Intermediary, then the investor must purchase real estate of equal or greater value and has 45 days to “identify” replacement property with a concurrent 180-day timeline to close.


Through what’s known as the Internal Revenue Service’s Revenue Ruling 2004-86, DSTs have been recognized as vehicles for investors looking for like-kind real estate as 1031 exchange replacement property with the ability to conduct another 1031 exchange upon the sale of the DST property.

Passive Real Estate Investing

For many real estate investors that have had their lives consumed with being pinned to real estate property management and/or asset management responsibilities, DSTs offer the opportunity to be passive and diversified—via the 1031 exchange into multiple DSTs/multiple geographic areas/multiple property types. Diversification does not guarantee profits or protect against losses.

As of the time of writing this article, Kay Properties has over 35 DST offerings available to our clients from over 20 companies that most would consider sophisticated real estate asset managers. As such, real estate sectors represented include, but are not limited to healthcare, multifamily, net-leased real estate (NNN), industrial/distribution, office, student housing and self-storage.

It is important to note that these real estate management companies do not call for investors’ funds, then go out to buy properties. Rather, they’ll typically acquire the real estate first—thereby helping to reduce investor 1031 exchange closing risk—and the DST can be comprised of multiple properties or just a single asset.

DSTs come either with or without debt, so investors conducting a 1031 exchange may find the non-recourse financing already in place useful for the purposes of their transaction. Others might seek out debt-free DSTs as 1031 replacement property if they sold real estate that was unencumbered by debt and do not want the added risks of using financing with real estate investing.

The minimum investment size for 1031 exchange investors is typically $100,000, so in many cases investors can diversify into multiple DST offerings–depending on the size of their transaction. 

Several factors have contributed to the industry’s growing popularity including the passive nature of the DST structure in conjunction with the real estate portfolio strategy (by investing with varied DST sponsor companies/asset-managers, locations and property types), and the ability to close quickly. Accredited investors find DSTs to be quite accessible compared to the search for high-quality real estate, negotiating with sellers and having to potentially put all their eggs in one basket. We’re pleased to be able to offer DSTs to our clients with the goal to streamline their 1031 exchange process.

About Kay Properties and www.kpi1031.com 

Kay Properties is a national Delaware Statutory Trust (DST) investment firm. The www.kpi1031.com platform provides access to the marketplace of DSTs from over 25 different sponsor companies, custom DSTs only available to Kay clients, independent advice on DST sponsor companies, full due diligence and vetting on each DST (typically 20-40 DSTs) and a DST secondary market.  Kay Properties team members collectively have over 115 years of real estate experience, are licensed in all 50 states, and have participated in over 15 Billion of DST 1031 investments.

This material does not constitute an offer to sell nor a solicitation of an offer to buy any security. Such offers can be made only by the confidential Private Placement Memorandum (the “Memorandum”). Please read the entire Memorandum paying special attention to the risk section prior investing.  IRC Section 1031, IRC Section 1033 and IRC Section 721 are complex tax codes therefore you should consult your tax or legal professional for details regarding your situation.  There are material risks associated with investing in real estate securities including illiquidity, vacancies, general market conditions and competition, lack of operating history, interest rate risks, general risks of owning/operating commercial and multifamily properties, financing risks, potential adverse tax consequences, general economic risks, development risks and long hold periods. There is a risk of loss of the entire investment principal. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Potential cash flow, potential returns and potential appreciation are not guaranteed.

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