Simon Property Group's Southpark in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo: Simon Property Group)

Against the backdrop of accelerating store closures across the United States, there is an increasing focus on retail REITs across the United States.

According to an equity research report by Mizuho Securities USA, the number of store closures have now surpassed the 2016 figure and is now approaching what was seen during the 2008 - 2009 recession levels.

US Malls and shopping centre REITs returns for the year-to-date are at -12.5% and -17.5% respectively, according to the figures from Mizuho Securities.

However the firm noted that leasing activity in the country remains strong, although rent growth is on the wane, with more REITs paying leasing commissions to brokers to secure leases, and highlighted a NYSE-listed retail REIT that it has upgraded to 'Buy'.

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By Ridzwan Rahmat

Ridzwan has been analysing REITs and business trusts since 2008, and personally manages a portfolio comprising mainly of SGX-listed REITs. He founded REITsWeek in 2013.