If you're aiming to "buy low and sell high," then it makes infinite sense to start your search with bargain-priced stocks. Regularly reviewing a list of stocks trading near their 52-week lows can be a great first step.

Here, I'll try to do the initial legwork for you. To prevent us from being inundated with scores of disparate companies, I'll conduct my search by industry. This will allow us to make some initial comparisons among semi-related companies.

There are 24 industry groups as defined by the Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS). Real estate is one of them.

Below are the top seven companies in this space (by market cap) that are hugging 52-week lows.

Company

Market Capitalization (in millions)

% Change from 52-week Low

Price-to-Book Ratio

 

Weyerhaeuser (NYSE: WY)

$8,210

                         1.7%

                        0.8

Duke Realty (NYSE: DRE)

$3,039

                         18.5%

                         1.5

Mack-Cali Realty (NYSE: CLI)

$2,603

                         18%

                         1.5

Corporate Office Properties Trust (NYSE: OFC)

$2,259

                         19.9%

                         2.2

The St. Joe Company (NYSE: JOE)

$1,945

                         7.3%

                         2.1

CommonWealth REIT (NYSE: CWH)

$1,913

                         15.9%

                          0.6

American Capital Agency Corp. (Nasdaq: AGNC)

$1,406

                         18%

                         1.2

Source: Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poor's. Data as of Oct. 18.

For real estate plays, price-to-book trumps price-to-earnings as the first-look ratio.

Of course, these days, with dividends all the rage, real-estate investment trusts (REITs) and other dividend-friendly structures have been on many an investor's radar. Of this group, Duke, Mack-Cali, CommonWealth, and American Capital Agency are REITs that pay yields more than 5%. As I write this, American Capital Agency has hit 20%! I won't rehash the risks here. For a good article on the subject, click here.

Back to the price-to-book ratios. Both Weyerhaeuser and CommonWealth are trading below book value. There's a lot of interesting SEC filing reading to be done here, but there's no shame in putting most of these plays in the "too difficult" bucket.

If you are interested in reading more about these stocks, add them to My Watchlist to find all of our Foolish analysis on them.

Anand Chokkavelu doesn't own shares of any companies mentioned. He posts his favorite articles on his Twitter feed. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.  The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.