Westfield's sale of its non-core malls to Starwood Capital Group earlier this spring may have been a turning point in the market. As recently as April, investors continued to prefer core assets in gateway cities for retail acquisitions.
As those assets prove scarce, however, more buyers have started considering class-B malls, which have been posting improving fundamentals of late, according to Investopedia.
This positive news, along with rising consumer spending and confidence data, has prompted a variety of private equity firms and real estate investment trusts (REIT) to begin focusing "down the food chain" towards class B or second-tier malls. Through its new real estate division, private equity giant KKR (NYSE:KKR) recently made a $196 million investment in a mall outside Chicago, as shopping centers lacking strong anchors remain a value.