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Malls Had a Strong Year in 2014

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News of shuttering stores early this year may have caused concern, but the reality is that occupancy is on the upswing. Data released by ICSC reveals that shopping center occupancy rates at the end of 2014 were 92.7%, the highest rate since Q2 2008. Occupancy rates for malls were even higher at 94.2%, a level we haven't seen since the fourth quarter of 1987. Meanwhile base rents at shopping centers saw a third straight year of gains, increasing 6.5% this year, and base rents at malls grew 17.2%, CNBC reports. That's the strongest annual gain since ICSC and the National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries began tracking data in 2000. However, this isn't good news for everyone. Retailers in smaller areas and low-income regions are still struggling. But according to Jesse Tron of ICSC, that's just standard survival of the fittest. [CNBC]