Call it a “silent killer”, but there is a big threat coming to US malls that many don’t see coming. While the big bout of retail bankruptcies in 2017 hit the industry hard, a less headline-grabbing, but more widespread issue might cause bigger issues in 2018. That issue is that smaller mall tenants are likely to simply not renew their leases. Smaller operators between the big anchor stores actually generate more revenue for malls, and a decrease in tenancy would be a big blow to mall revenue. Smaller operators are actually better indicators of retail health because their lease terms keep them on the lookout for greener pastures.
FINSUM: Mall REITs could be in for a rough time here. While little companies won’t get much press, this pending increase in vacancy rates could hit malls hard.
The last couple of years have seen a huge surge in the legal pot industry. More and more major states have made marijuana legal, which in turn has sparked a flurry of business to create a legal pot industry. However, doom and gloom may be about to settle into the young area as Jeff Sessions, Trump’s Attorney General, has now rescinded the Obama era policy that limited legal enforcement of federal marijuana laws in states where it was legal. The news hit the sector hard, with one of the main pot stock indexes down as much as 24% yesterday.
FINSUM: It is going to be hard for the federal government to enforce any national law when there is primarily only local law enforcement, but this could still cause some major disruptions to the young industry.
When people think of real estate investing, their most likely areas of focus is on homes, apartments, or various types of commercial buildings. But Barron’s has run a piece chronicling a very well-performing fund that takes an entirely different approach—investing in property where tenants cannot move, at all. To be clear, this means things like data centers, hydroelectric dams, cellphone towers, and lab space. Large casinos also have this immovable characteristic because of the investment it takes to create them. This type of investing approach has yielded very strong returns over the last few years.
FINSUM: Buying into properties where tenants can’t move creates a very strong defense against economic downturn. This is definitely a good hedge to use against many asset classes and can be achieved using REITs.