The real estate investment trust (REIT) industry has undergone three waves of initial public offerings (IPOs) since 1980. In this article we examine these waves within the context of the general IPO wave literature. We note that the unique nature of REITs may render them more transparent than other stocks, and that this may affect their IPO performance. Specifically we document the initial and long-run performance of equity REIT IPOs during and after each wave, and we then examine which of the general IPO clustering and pricing theories best fits that performance data. We find evidence of much smaller initial returns than is typically found for non-REIT IPOs. We also find no evidence of the long-run negative abnormal performance for REITs that is normally found for other stocks. Our findings support the idea that the Capital Demand Hypothesis best describes the REIT IPO market, although we also find some weak evidence in favor of the Information Asymmetry Hypothesis. We find evidence against the Investor Sentiment Hypothesis.