The seven regional mall REITs posted total returns of 6.30 percent in the first quarter of 2011. Last year, the REITs posted total returns of 34.64 percent, which followed a rise of 62.99 percent in 2009.

The regional mall REIT total return index at the end of February stood at 788.54 and is up 280percent since bottoming out at 207.55 in February 2009. However, the index remains 32 percent below its all-time peak of 1,154.48 reached in April 2007.

The regional mall REIT price index, meanwhile, has risen 261 percent since March 2009 from 80.05 to 288.64 and remains 41 percent below its all-time peak of 488.26 reached in April 2007. The dividend yield for regional mall REITs was 2.88 percent at the end of February.

Source: NAREIT