Simon Property Group, a the largest shopping mall owner and operator in the U.S., said on Monday that its second quarter results improved 15 percent, with adjusted results topped the Street's forecasts.
Even for Simon, cracks are starting to show. In the second quarter, occupancy at its malls fell 0.2 percent, to 91.8 percent, while occupancy at its outlet centers was down 1.1 percent, to 98.3 percent.
Still, Simon commands enough leverage to raise rents to compensate for a few empty stores; average mall rent rose 6.3 percent, to $38.81 per square foot, while rent in its outlet centers rose 6.2 percent, to $26.66 per square foot.
Update: The author went on to spin negative about other mall owners, but since I'm sick of negative spin on positive news, I'll stop here. Retail may be suffering a bit, and competing with fuel prices, but there's no doubt that all the real estate markets have bottomed.