5-Star Real Estate Stock Picks

Real estate is not dead -- even in the United States. Ritson Ferguson, manager of the ING Global Real Estate Fund, offered CNBC his favorite global real estate stocks.

Ferguson's fund is rated five stars by Morningstar, and one of its "top holdings" is Sun Hung Kai Properties. He praises it as a play on continuing growth in China and Hong Hong, enjoying a "five-year land bank" as well as "top-notch management."

Back in the States, Ferguson likes Simon Property Group, boasting a "blue-chip mall portfolio." he concedes that Simon had a "tough" 2007, down 12 percent, but says the group did "better than most REITs."

Ferguson says the group has the advantage of a "very solid balance sheet" -- and despite disappointing retail sales and outlooks, he says "mall revenues have been amazingly resilient."