The 16 shopping Center REITs posted total returns of 30.78 percent in 2010. That pace of growth is up from the 2009, when total returns fell 1.66 percent, and over 2008 when total returns declined 38.84 percent.

The shopping center REIT total return index at the end of the year stood at 479.80 and is up 120 percent since bottoming out at 217.80 in March 2009. However, the index remains 40 percent below its all-time peak of 803.95 reached in February 2007.

The shopping center REIT price index, meanwhile, has risen 103 percent since March 2009 from 79.68 to 161.67 and remains 51 percent below its all-time peak of 329.00 reached in February 2007. The dividend yield for shopping center REITs was 3.47 percent at the end of the year.

Source: NAREIT