Buoyed by continuing retail re-openings nationally, rent collections for free standing and shopping mall-focused REITs trended upwards in July after gains in June.
The trend was highlighted in the fourth monthly survey of REIT rents across six property sectors by the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (Nareit).
The Nareit report—which culled data from April, May, June and July rent surveys and combined them with publicly disclosed data matched to June’s month-end equity market capitalization—covered a broad spectrum of commercial real estate amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impact.
In addition to the retail subsectors, industrial, office, apartments and healthcare were also surveyed and they showed consistently strong rent collections in June and July that hovered between 94 and 99 percent.
But the biggest gain in full rent collections was with free standing retail, which reported a 12.1 percentage points jump from 79.3 percent in June to 91.4 percent in July. Shopping centers had the second largest spike, rising 8.9 percentage points from 60.6 percent in June to 69.5 percent in July.
There are more than 16,000 REIT-owned free standing retail establishments across the US, including big box stores, pharmacies, convenience stores and restaurants, and roughly 2,700 shopping center REITs, according to Nareit.
The note attributed the positive surge among the retail subsectors to the prevalence of essential businesses, such as grocery and drug stores as tenants. Nareit cited such businesses as “a stabilizing factor,” as well as reliable rent payers for these properties.
Free standing and shopping center REITs also reported decreases in deferred rent and forbearance. The former reported granting rent deferrals for over 17 percent in May and June rent, but only 7 percent of July rent. Meanwhile, the forbearance rate for shopping center REITs plunged 8 percentage points from 9 percent of rent owed in June to 1 percent in July.
The industrial subsector was the strongest among the six surveyed with collections at nearly 100 percent of typical rents in July and zero forbearance in May through July, based on the Nareit report.
Office rent collections fell slightly to 96 percent in July from June, while deferral rates went from1.5 percent of rent owed by equity market cap in June to 1.7 percent in July.
Apartment rent collections stayed largely the same at 96 percent for June and July, while deferrals dropped to less than 1 percent in July compared to 3 percent in May.
Meanwhile, healthcare reported rent collections staying steady at 95 percent for both June and July, while rent deferrals held firm at 4 percent of rent by equity market cap for both months.