Retail REITs boost operating income in fourth quarter

Publish Date: February 14, 2014

Topics: cbl, ddr, federal realty, general growth, kimco, regency, reit, taubman


Strong demand from retailers helped landlords boost income at their properties during the fourth quarter. At DDR Corp., leasing spreads grew by 13.9 percent year on year for new leases and by 7.9 percent on renewals, driving same-center net operating income up 3.1 percent. “We expect operating metrics to accelerate further in 2014,” said Daniel B. Hurwitz, DDR’s chief executive, in a press release. At Regency Centers, same-center NOI grew by 2.7 percent in the fourth quarter, thanks in part to a 10.7 percent year-on-year increase in the rental rate on new leases and a 5.6 percent increase in the rental rate on renewals. Federal Realty Investment Trust reported a 4.3 percent rise in same-center NOI for the quarter. “2013’s completed leases, which overall were written at 20 percent higher than the prior tenant, will serve as a great start to 2014 growth,” said Federal Realty President and CEO Donald Wood. Meanwhile, Kimco Realty Corp. had a busy quarter bringing in higher-paying tenants to occupy former Kmart and Sears spaces, among other activities. In Ocala, Fla., Kimco re-leased a vacant Kmart box to Burlington Coat Factory for a 179 percent rent increase. “We continue to monitor our tenant watch list, as we believe, in this environment, recapturing boxes will create strong leasing spreads and redevelopment opportunities,” said COO Conor Flynn. Same-center NOI at the firm rose 4.1 percent during the fourth quarter.

Among mall REITs, increased rents helped boost fourth-quarter profits, as well. General Growth Properties’ same-center NOI increased by 6.2 percent, thanks in part to strong leasing that is carrying over into 2014, said CEO Sandeep Mathrani. “We’ve completed over 70 percent of the leasing required to achieve our 2014 goal,” he said. At Macerich average base rents increased by 8.7 percent year on year, while same-center NOI increased by 4.9 percent. “This increase was driven by increased occupancy, positive re-leasing spreads and annual CPI increases on leases,” said Thomas E. O’Hern, the firm’s senior vice president, CFO and treasurer. Meanwhile, at Taubman Centers’ upscale properties, tenant sales set a company record of $721 per square foot. Same-center NOI grew by 1.9 percent, while average rent per square foot increased by 3.7 percent year on year. CBL & Associates Properties reported an 11.8 percent increase in average base rent year on year and a same-center NOI increase of 0.9 percent. 

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