Outlet Centers Show Resilience; GGP Asset Cap Estimates are Surprisingly Low (Thursday's News & Notes)

For more than a year now, retail landlords and property managers have been dealing with the disheartening trend of rising vacancies. Even the best markets and the best properties did not seem to be immune from this downturn. So it's great to hear that at least one corner of the retail real estate universe--outlet centers--has been experiencing higher occupancy in recent months. You can read about that, as well as about a new Macerich transaction and General Growth's asset valuations, below.

  • Underlining yesterday's revelation that a lot of bank executives are not aware of their bank's exposure to commercial real estate, Square Feet Blog reports that Goldman Sachs revised its forecast for commercial real estate losses.
  • Imad Naffa takes a look at some of the Top 100 commercial real estate Twitterers as ranked by John Reeder earlier this year.
  • The Wall Street Journal reports that Macerich sold an almost 50 percent stake in two of its malls to Heitman LLC for $167.5 million, plus assumed debt.
  • Retail Sails confirms that same-store sales posted an increase from last year for the week ending September 26.
  • Seeking Alpha has some interesting news on the valuations of assets belonging to bankrupt mall REIT General Growth Properties. The cap rates on the assets are estimated in the 7 percent to 10 percent range, far below what many in the industry expected.
  • The CoStar Group reports that outlet centers, which have benefited from their value-oriented image, posted vacancy declines in the second quarter.
  • Meanwhile, retail discount king Wal-Mart seems to be slowly taking over the world. The New York Daily News reveals the mega-retailer recently hosted a wedding at one of its stores.
  • Wal-Mart's popularity may be giving other retailers an inferiority complex. The Big Fat Marketing Blog reports that many retail brands have now launched marketing efforts through social networking sites including Twitter and Facebook. But a big percentage of the brands are going online to show they are not behind the times and to make sure they don't have a negative online image, rather than to increase sales.
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