Concerns about higher interest rates ahead may be weighing on publicly traded REIT shares, but from an operating perspective REITs are breaking out, says Mike Pappagallo, president and CFO of Brixmor Property Group. 'Quality supply is at a premium because there has not been much development over the past few years,' says Pappagallo. 'Clearly it’s a good time for landlords because most can raise rents.' Shares of Brixmore are flat year-to-date, yet have risen 15% in the past 12 months, more than double the iShares US Real Estate ETF (IYR). Pappagallo says Brixmor is capitalizing on these market forces as leases expire in its shopping center portfolio. Brixmor signed new leases in 2014 at an average of $13.45 per square foot, compared to its portfolio average rents of $12.14 per square foot.

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