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Host Hotels & Resorts ( HST) pushed the Real Estate industry higher today making it today's featured real estate winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 1.2%. By the end of trading, Host Hotels & Resorts rose $0.20 (1.1%) to $19.07 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 8,547,948 shares of Host Hotels & Resorts exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5,695,000 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $18.94-$19.13 after having opened the day at $18.97 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $18.87. Other companies within the Real Estate industry that increased today were: Vestin Realty Mortgage I ( VRTA), up 10.3%, Gaming and Leisure Properties ( GLPI), up 9.2%, Western Asset Mortgage Capital ( WMC), up 6.7% and Preferred Apartment Communities ( APTS), up 6.6%.

Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc. is a publicly owned real estate investment trust (REIT). The firm primarily engages in the ownership and operation of hotel properties. It invests in the real estate markets of United States. Host Hotels & Resorts has a market cap of $14.3 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 82.0, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 20.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 8 analysts that rate Host Hotels & Resorts a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 8 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Host Hotels & Resorts as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, revenue growth and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company's profit margins have been poor overall.

On the negative front, China HGS Real Estate ( HGSH), down 19.8%, Impac Mortgage Holdings ( IMH), down 9.2%, Nationstar Mortgage Holdings ( NSM), down 6.7% and PennyMac Financial Services Inc Class A ( PFSI), down 5.3% , were all laggards within the real estate industry with Realty Income Corporation ( O) being today's real estate industry laggard.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the real estate industry could consider iShares Dow Jones US Real Estate ( IYR) while those bearish on the real estate industry could consider ProShares Short Real Estate Fund ( REK).

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