Investing in real estate can be a great way to grow your wealth over the long term, and numerous companies’ stocks offer investors ways to access those possibilities without taking on the work of being a landlord.
Specifically, real estate investment trusts (REITs) can be excellent options. There are about 220 publicly traded REITs, each of which owns a pool of properties that produce steady streams of income. And each of them is obligated to return at least 90% of its taxable income to shareholders in the form of dividends each year.
There are apparent bargains to be had, too, after broad market fears and macroeconomic pessimism have beaten down the share prices of many great companies.
Not all REITs are alike, of course, and fast-changing economic conditions can alter the trajectories of individual REITs and the industries and sectors they support.
That said, Alexandria Real Estate Equities (NYSE: ARE) and STAG Industrial (NYSE: STAG) have already posted encouraging second-quarter reports and appear to have recession-resistant portfolios that should keep them from reeling too much, whatever disruptions may lie ahead, and appear so poised for continued growth that either make a great case for a great August buy.
Alexandria Real Estate Equities
There’s a lot to like about Alexandria Real Estate Equities, the owner of more than 74 million square feet of collaborative life science, agtech and technology space in “innovation clusters” in and around San Diego, San Francisco, Boston, New York City, Seattle, Maryland, and North Carolina’s Research Triangle.
These are high-demand spaces in industries that notably don’t lend themselves to at-home work, giving this office REIT the ability to keep growing revenues and raising rents. In fact, year over year, its revenues rose 26.3% in the first quarter and 27.2% in the first half. Its second-quarter rental rate increases of about 34% were the highest in company history and its lease volume was the third highest.
Dividend performance is strong, too. Management has raised the payout by 6% over the 12-month period ending June 30, and its payout ratio relative to funds from operations is 56% — a level that the company says should allow it to continue expanding both payouts and its portfolio.
STAG Industrial is (as its name implies) an industrial REIT. It owns 559 buildings containing about 111 million square feet of logistics and manufacturing space spread across 40 states. It focuses on single-tenant properties, and about 40% of its business depends on e-commerce, including major players such as Amazon and FedEx.
The company also adds to its portfolio regularly and is keeping it filled. It acquired nine new buildings in the second quarter alone and boasts an overall occupancy rate of nearly 99% in its operating portfolio.
Concerns about a slowdown in e-commerce and weakening demand for logistics space from some of its biggest users have entered the conversation in the logistics sector, but those issues are not yet being reflected in STAG’s performance.
In Q2, the company grew core funds from operations by 18% over the year-ago quarter, posted a retention rate of nearly 90% for about 2.1 million square feet that came up for renewal during those three months, and raised the rent by an inflation-beating 21.9% on 3.2 million square feet of new leases.
Analysts give STAG stock a buy rating and a consensus price target of $45.75, a pretty nice premium over the $33 or so it’s been trading for lately. Buy some and you’ll also get a yield that’s nearly 4.5% at this writing.
Take these along for the ride
Both of these stocks have rallied a bit in recent weeks from the 2022 lows they hit earlier this summer. And both possess characteristics that position them to build on their records of strong performance. Now would be a good time to scoop up some shares and enjoy some dividend income that should bolster their performance should share prices dip again or just add to the gains if they continue their rebounds.
Marc Rapport has positions in Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Stag Industrial, and Vanguard Real Estate ETF. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Stag Industrial, and Vanguard Real Estate ETF. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.