NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Stocks in the real estate investment trust space were mostly higher on Wednesday as the sector gains traction with the investing community.

REIT's have a distinct advantage over broader market investing, Greg Genovese, president and CEO of Pacific Valley Realty Capital, told TheStreet. He said the group's rise is due in part to the equities' ability to generally offer better yields and cash flow than dividend-paying stocks.

There is simply more demand for REITs nowadays as well, he said, and that demand continues to increase.

Morningstar ( MORN - Get Report) noted that REITs have been catching on with a number of exchange-traded fund investors who consider them as potential hedges against inflation. The investment research firm pointed to inflows of $312 million to the iShares Dow Jones U.S. Real Estate ( IYR - Get Report), and $371 million of net inflows to the Vanguard REIT Index ( VNQ - Get Report), in the third quarter as evidence of the growing interest in REITs.

Genovese added that the REIT sector as a whole has not yet fully recovered from its highs before the recession, offering greater upside potential for investors in the space because "the blood has already been spilled and the liquidity crisis is no longer what it was."

Among REIT gainers on Wednesday was Host Hotels & Resorts ( HST - Get Report), gaining 1.4% in afternoon trading.

The lodging REIT said Wednesday it narrowed its quarterly losses, grew revenue by 11.4% and revPAR, or revenue per available room -- a key metric in the hotel industry -- by 8.8% thanks to higher average daily rates and an increase in occupancy.

Shares of Plum Creek Timber ( PCL), due to report its quarterly earnings later this month, jumped 3.4%.

The economic effect of a still-weak housing and home construction market hurts companies like Plum Creek which provide lumber to homebuilders.

Self-storage facility operator Public Storage ( PSA - Get Report) gained 2.3% on Wednesday to trade above $101 per share.
Public Storage

Commercial REIT CB Richard Ellis Group ( CBG) was another sector leader Wednesday, jumping 5.3% ahead of its quarterly report later this month.

DiamondRock Hospitality ( DRH - Get Report), a higher-end lodging REIT similar to Host, saw its shares climb 5.5% on Wednesday.

The operator of hotels under the Marriot ( MAR), Starwood ( HOT) and Hilton brands in U.S. gateway cities is also due to report quarterly results this month.

-- Written by Miriam Marcus Reimer in New York.

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