Simon Property Group reported strong leasing activity in its malls in the second quarter and said 40% of its deals were made with new businesses that are lining up to fill mall space at its properties.

The REIT, which is the nation's largest mall owner, had record retailer sales of $746 per square feet at its malls and outlets combined in Q2, a 26% increase from last year, with malls alone notching a 29% increase to $674.

The company reported an occupancy rate of 93.9% as of June 30, up from 91.8% a year ago. Its average base rent increased for the third consecutive quarter, to $54.58.

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