The 27 U.S. Retail REITs posted total returns of 33.41 percent, which made it the strongest year for the sector since 2004, when retail REITs posted total returns of 40.23 percent. The total return index at the end of the year stood at 584.29 and is up 169 percent since bottoming out at 216.82 in February 2009. However, the index remains 33 percent below its all-time peak of 878.58 reached in April 2007.

The retail REIT price index, meanwhile, has risen 150 percent since February 2009 from 81.14 to 202.94 and remains 44 percent below its all-time peak of 363.25 reached in February 2007. The dividend yield for retail REITs was 3.47 percent at the end of the year.

Source: NAREIT