For real estate investors, 2021 is going to be a hard act to follow in 2022. Total returns across the industry we around 43% (market-cap-weighted) and 40% (equal-weighted). The S&P 500 returned 28.7% in 2021.
According to BTIG analyst James Sullivan and his team, share price appreciation in 2021 was the highest ever for equity real estate investment trusts (REITs), and this year is on track for the highest growth in fund flow from operations per share and dividend yields since 2011. Two weeks ago, we ran our own screen to find the five highest-yielding REITs going into 2022.
BTIG’s coverage universe is more limited than ours, and the analysts were interested in finding their top picks in each of 10 industry sectors. We include their top picks (all are Buy rated) and BTIG’s price target at the end. Here are the five REITs expected to post share-price gains of more than 20% this year.
Macerich Co. (NYSE: MAC) is one of North America’s largest regional mall operators. The company owns 51 million square feet of real estate in some 47 regional shopping centers. Macerich was hit hard by COVID-19 restrictions in each of the past two years. BTIG says it expects some “lumpiness” in the company’s recovery but, because the company’s portfolio of properties is focused on higher-income customers, the analysts “expect the wealth effect to boost spending.” Higher expected inflation could also yield higher rent payments.
At a recent share price of around $17.90, Macerich’s upside potential based on BTIG’s target price of $35 is 95.5%. The company’s dividend yield is 3.32%.
SL Green Realty Corp. (NYSE: SLG) is the largest office landlord in Manhattan and remains focused on acquiring and managing commercial properties in the heart of the American financial industry. At the end of 2020, SL Green owned 28.6 million square feet of space in Manhattan and another 8.7 million square feet used to secure debt and preferred equity payments.
According to BTIG, the company outperformed the office sector by 760 basis points, returning 27.2% to investors last year. The analysts believe that “SL Green is uniquely positioned to benefit from an uptick in office utilization while the continued ‘flight to quality’ provides an upward bias to earnings (SLG’s YE 2021 goal was to lease 85% of its $3.3B [One Vanderbilt Avenue] development, and the project is now more than 94% leased).”
At a recent price of around $82.00, the upside potential based on BTIG’s price target of $105 is 28%. SL Green’s dividend yield is 4.59%.