8 Best Real Estate Stocks to Buy

Real estate can be an effective way for investors to hedge against inflation and potentially generate big returns. Buying physical property can be difficult and expensive for individual investors, but investors can easily invest in real estate by buying shares of real estate investment trusts, or REITs.

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There are several different types of REITs, and many of them pay sizable dividends. In addition to REITs, the real estate sector includes management and development stocks that may not actually own properties. Here are eight of the best real estate stocks to buy in 2024, according to CFRA analysts:

Stock Implied upside from June 14 Close
Prologis Inc. (ticker: PLD) 14.0%
American Tower Corp. (AMT) 8.1%
Equinix Inc. (EQIX) 20.2%
Welltower Inc. (WELL) 5.7%
VICI Properties Inc. (VICI) 23.7%
Equity Residential Properties Trust (EQR) 15.4%
CoStar Group Inc. (CSGP) 39.3%
Invitation Homes Inc. (INVH) 7.0%

Prologis Inc. (PLD)

Prologis is an industrial REIT that specializes in logistics real estate. Analyst Michael Elliott says Prologis owns logistics centers in high-demand areas that have high barriers to entry for competitors due to zoning laws. In these regions where property is scarce, Elliott says Prologis’ impressive portfolio is a key differentiator. In fact, he says the current Prologis portfolio has the potential to create $40 billion in value for investors. While new supply will come online, he says Prologis should maintain significant pricing power in most of its markets. CFRA has a “buy” rating and $128 price target for PLD stock, which closed at $112.29 on June 14.

American Tower Corp. (AMT)

American Tower is a specialized REIT that operates the world’s largest independent portfolio of wireless communications and broadcast towers. Elliott says concerns over lower spending by telecommunications companies coupled with fears over a potential U.S. recession in 2024 are more than priced in to American Tower’s stock at its current price. In addition, he is optimistic about the long-term outlook for wireless demand given growth in unlimited data plans, mobile video and 5G networks. Elliott says American Tower has a particularly attractive growth opportunity in international markets. CFRA has a “buy” rating and $213 price target for AMT stock, which closed at $197.03 on June 14.

Equinix Inc. (EQIX)

Equinix is a specialized REIT and is the world’s largest data center operator. Elliott says Equinix’s business model generates a high amount of recurring revenue, creating high financial visibility and reducing risk for investors. He says the data center business has a high barrier to entry, limiting Equinix’s competition. Equinix is the preferred partner for many of the largest tech companies

in the world, differentiating the company’s infrastructure from competitors. Elliott says Equinix will continue to benefit from data center supply constraints in several major data center markets. CFRA has a “buy” rating and $921 price target for EQIX stock, which closed at $766.26 on June 14.

[Read: The 6 Best Fidelity Mutual Funds to Buy and Hold]

Welltower Inc. (WELL)

Welltower is a health care

REIT that invests in health care facilities, including senior housing, specialty care facilities and medical office buildings. Including dividends, the REIT is up 16.1% year to date through June 14, the best 2024 performance of any stock on this list. Elliott says Welltower’s outlook will improve in the next year due to improved pricing power and occupancy gains. COVID-related downside has now passed, and Elliott says there are favorable supply-demand conditions in the senior housing market. He is bullish on the REIT’s aggressive acquisition strategy as well. CFRA has a “buy” rating and $110 price target for WELL stock, which closed at $104.04 on June 14.

VICI Properties Inc. (VICI)

VICI Properties is a specialized REIT that owns gaming, hospitality and entertainment properties, including Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. VICI has been aggressively acquiring major properties, including the acquisition of the remaining 49.9% interest in the MGM Grand Las Vegas and Mandalay Bay Resort from Blackstone Real Estate Income Trust for $1.27 billion in January 2023. VICI shares pay a 5.9% dividend, the highest yield of any stock on this list. Elliott says VICI has upside to its highly recurring revenue. CFRA has a “buy” rating and $35 price target for VICI stock, which closed at $28.29 on June 14.

Equity Residential Properties Trust (EQR)

Equity Residential is a multifamily residential REIT that owns and operates a diversified portfolio of apartment properties. Analyst Kenneth Leon says Equity Residential has a higher percentage of affluent tenants than its REIT competitors focused on the Sun Belt region. Equity tenants have a lower monthly lease cost-to-household income ratio than many competitors. In addition, Leon anticipates the REIT’s key rental markets, including San Francisco and Seattle, will improve in the second half of the year. He projects 2.9% revenue growth for Equity Residential in 2024. CFRA has a “buy” rating and $77 price target for EQR stock, which closed at $66.71 on June 14.

CoStar Group Inc. (CSGP)

CoStar is a real estate services company that operates online real estate marketplaces and provides research for the commercial real estate industry. CoStar shares are down 13.9% year to date, but Elliott says the weakness is a buying opportunity for long-term investors. He says CoStar has a business model that is resistant to fluctuations in the business cycle. The company’s Homes.com platform reported an impressive 115% annual increase in users in the first quarter of 2024, and Elliott says Homes.com can continue to exceed expectations. CFRA has a “buy” rating and $103 price target for CSPG stock, which closed at $73.93 on June 14.

Invitation Homes Inc. (INVH)

Invitation Homes owns, operates and leases single-family U.S. homes in the starter and move-up categories. Leon says rising U.S. housing prices and a tight U.S. housing market create a favorable environment for Invitation Homes. With limited affordable homes available for purchase, Invitation has the ability to raise rental rates and boost margins. Leon says Invitation offers customers relatively affordable access to the convenience and flexibility associated with renting a desirable, single-family home. Leon projects $2.59 billion in 2024 revenue for Invitation Homes. CFRA has a “buy” rating and $38 price target for INVH stock, which closed at $35.50 on June 14.

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8 Best Real Estate Stocks to Buy originally appeared on usnews.com

Update 06/17/24: This story was previously published at an earlier date and has been updated with new information.

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