Report: U.S. shopping-center industry posts healthy Q2 net income gain

New York -- Total operating income of all shopping centers on a square-foot basis in the second quarter of 2012 rose 4.9% from the same quarter last year, while operating expenses rose by a larger 5.8%, according to a new quarterly shopping-center benchmarking report from The National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries (NCREIF) and the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC).

Despite expenses outpacing income gains, net operating income (NOI) per square foot actually improved by a solid 4.5% in the quarter, compared with the second quarter of 2011.

“Second-quarter NOI for the shopping-center industry helped increase the total investment return by 3.0% over that same period,” said Jeffrey R. Havsy, director of research for NCREIF. “Retail was the best performing property type in the second quarter and occupancy rates for all-shopping centers remained steady at 90%.”

Shopping center performance in the United States differs widely by type of sub-sector, according to real estate data collected by NCREIF. The net operating income of powers centers during the second quarter energized the industry with its 8.6% year-over-year gain. Neighborhood-center net operating income posted a 6.1% gain, while super-regional malls gained 5.4%, compared with the same quarter of the prior year. However, the metric for community centers and regional malls were down in the quarter.

Michael P. Niemira, VP of research and chief economist for ICSC, said that, "[Surprisingly,] power centers have consistently been a strong performing segment of the industry over the past year and a half. Despite lingering concerns about the big boxes which support the power center format, those centers have clearly been profitable since 2011.”

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