The bursting of the bubble has scared lots of investors away from real estate, but ING's Steve Burton thinks that's a mistake.
Burton's five-star ING Global Real Estate Fund is up an average of 16.71 percent per year over the last five years.
He points out that the fund encompasses an international strategy, with the United States accounting for 40 percent, the Asia-Pacific region another 40 percent, and the remainder in Europe.
But Burton's first choice is an American company: Simon Property Group, which owns 10 percent of the nation's shopping malls.
"What makes Simon different and better is, they are very opportunistic with respect to growing the company," he told CNBC. "It's a very patient company; Simon is all about understanding the business -- it was originally a family business -- and it's all about balance sheet."
He also likes Boston Properties, which recently bought New York's General Motors building.
"Boston Properties is fundeamentally a development company with management that goes back a good 20, 30 years plus,' he said. "They do not become enamored of their assets. Since `05, the company has sold over $4 billion of assets and paid, back to the shareholders, an aggregate $14 a share. This is a company that knows how to create value and when to return that value to the shareholders."
Disclosure information for Steve Burton was not immediately available.