Investing in the property sector may seem like a risky move at the present time. The UK economy faces a period of major upheaval over the next few years which could hurt performance and confidence. As such, paper losses cannot be ruled out in the near term if market conditions deteriorate.
However, today may eventually be viewed as a stunning opportunity to buy property stocks for future years. Valuations are low, financial performance remains robust and this could mean the risk/reward ratios on offer are compelling. With that in mind, here are two property stocks that could be worth buying right now.
Reporting on Tuesday was Real Estate Investors (LSE: RLE). It is a real estate investment trust (REIT) which is focused on the West Midlands commercial property market. Its pre-tax profit for the 2017 financial year increased by 37.8%, with a record underlying profit before tax of £6.2m. Its property assets grew in value to £213.1m, which is a gain of 5.5%. This has allowed the company to increase dividends for the fifth year in a row, with them up by 19% during the year.
Looking ahead, the uncertainty present in the property market provides the company with the opportunity to buy discounted assets. It has also been able to make strategic sales and remains confident in its long-term outlook.
With Real Estate Investors trading on a price-to-book (P/B) ratio of 0.7, it seems to offer excellent value for money. While relatively small and lacking in regional diversification, the stock has a wide margin of safety. This suggests that even if the wider economy experiences a downturn, its valuation may have already factored-in more difficult trading conditions. As such, it could be worth buying at the present time.
Also offering investment potential within the REIT sector is Land Securities (LSE: LAND). As one of the largest operators in the sector, it offers a considerable degree of diversity and a strong balance sheet. This could help it to perform relatively well in what may prove to be a challenging era for the economy.
In previous years, the company has been able to generate solid performance. Its earnings have risen in each of the last four years and are due to do likewise in the next two. This could help to boost the company’s income prospects, with it expected to yield almost 5% in the next financial year.
With an envious portfolio of assets and a strategy which seems to be working well, Land Securities could prove to be a strong buy for the long term. As with many of its sector peers, it could offer a volatile share price in the short run. But with a P/B ratio of just 0.6, it appears to be in ‘bargain territory’ and could be worth buying now for the long run.
Peter Stephens owns shares of Land Securities Group. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Land Securities Group. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.