Stock Market

3 Stocks Riding the Wave of Urban Development Trends

In the ever-evolving urban landscape, savvy investors are focusing on urban development stocks poised to capitalize on emerging trends. Retail sector growth is at the forefront, with a solid uptick in retail tenant demand, while the hybrid work model has cemented its place in the corporate world. Simultaneously, the integration of AI in real estate and the increasing focus on climate change adaptation and smart cities are creating opportunities in tech-savvy and ESG-oriented companies.

This landscape, along with the revitalization of downtown areas and the growing need for affordable housing, underscores the lucrativeness of stocks in sustainable urban development, offering robust long-term upside ahead. With that said, three of these stocks have massive potential to evolve in the sphere.

Zillow (Z)

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Zillow (NASDAQ:Z) finds itself at a crossroads in the evolving real estate market. Once riding high on the pandemic-induced property frenzy, the firm has confronted multiple headwinds in the past year. Higher interest rates and a notable shift in homeowner behavior put a damper on demand in 2023. However, there’s plenty to suggest that the digital real estate maven could certainly turn around its future. Zillow’s diversified revenue streams, notably its growth in rentals and mortgage sector innovations, are beacons of resilience amidst a turbulent market. This adaptability hints at a potential comeback in 2024 despite the prevailing uncertainties and industry challenges. Moreover, it boasts an Altman Z score of 3.92, firmly in the safe zone, and a leveraged free cash flow margin of more than 14%.

Furthermore, at the forefront of innovation, Zillow Group is not just weathering the storm; it’s looking to reshape the landscape. Zillow is redefining the real estate sector by doubling down on strategic AI investments. Its arsenal includes a state-of-the-art housing Super App, AI-enhanced natural language search capabilities for seamless property discovery, and precision tools like Zestimate for spot-on valuations. Its initiatives pave the way for a new era of intelligent, efficient and tech-driven urban development.

Lennar Corporation (LEN)

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As a titan among national homebuilders, Lennar Corporation (NYSE:LEN) firmly established itself as a key player in urban development and sustainable housing. With it excelling in crafting master-planned communities, Lennar melds residential, commercial, and recreational spaces into vibrant, cohesive environments. Moreover, its transformative touch in revitalizing downtown areas and its commitment to smart city technologies, including solar panels and energy-efficient systems, positions it at the forefront of urban innovation.

Despite the record-high interest rates last year, Lennar’s performance has been remarkable, surpassing analyst expectations with aplomb. Moreover, its fourth-quarter results speak volumes with a robust Non-GAAP EPS of $5.17, besting estimates by 57 cents, and staggering revenues of roughly $11 billion, marking a 7.9% year-over-year increase. The company’s ability to sustain and grow in a challenging economic landscape is highlighted by a 32% surge in new orders, a backlog of 14,892 homes valued at $6.6 billion, and a 19% bump in home deliveries.

Brookfield Renewable Partners (BEP)

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Brookfield Renewable Partners (NYSE:BEP) is a true colossus in the renewable energy realm, commanding more than $800 billion in assets and a staggering 50% market share. Moreover, in the critical sphere of urban development, Brookfield’s focus on green energy marks a significant stride towards sustainable living and climate change mitigation. By reducing urban carbon footprints and promoting healthier environments, it’s effectively steering the green.

Financially, BEP’s performance is as impressive as its environmental impact. Consistently achieving over 10% annual growth in funds from operations and maintaining a solid EBITDA and gross margin of more than 60% in the past five years underscores its operational excellence. Their latest earnings report further cements their status; with a third quarter FFO of 45 cents, beating estimates by six cents, and a revenue increase of 7.3% year-over-year to $1.18 billion. Brookfield Renewable Partners’ blend of environmental commitment and financial robustness uniquely positions them as leaders in promoting sustainable urban development.

On the date of publication, Muslim Farooque did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines

Muslim Farooque is a keen investor and an optimist at heart. A life-long gamer and tech enthusiast, he has a particular affinity for analyzing technology stocks. Muslim holds a bachelor’s of science degree in applied accounting from Oxford Brookes University.

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