As this chart shows, the company has the second-largest mall portfolio in its peer group. While it's a large-scale portfolio of high-quality retail properties, Brookfield's malls trail a few of its peers in some key operating statistics.
For example, Simon's malls generated an average of $673 in sales per square foot before the COVID-19 outbreak earlier this year. Meanwhile, sales per square foot at Taubman's malls were an industry-leading $876 last year. However, while it didn't lead the way, Brookfield certainly didn't bring up the bottom, as its aforementioned $651 in sales per square foot were well above peers like CBL Properties, which only averaged $392 before the pandemic. Because of that, Brookfield's overall mall portfolio rates as above average, though it's not the best in the sector.
The other major factor to consider is balance sheet strength. Simon leads the group again as it's one of a handful of REITs with A-rated credit. That makes it really stand out in the sector since fellow mall REITs CBL Properties, Washington Prime, and PREIT are struggling to survive due to their weak credit profiles.
Meanwhile, Brookfield is closer to the top, as it has a strong balance sheet with lots of liquidity. Because of that, it has maintained its dividend this year despite the trouble facing its mall business, something even Simon hasn't done. Its balance sheet strength also gives it the financial flexibility to invest in its malls and turn them into marketplaces of the future.
Good, not great
Brookfield Property's mall business is near the top of its class. However, its portfolio isn't as big as Simon's nor as high-quality as Taubman's. Meanwhile, it doesn't have as strong a balance sheet as Simon, which has one of the REIT sector's best credit ratings. Because of that, Simon, not Brookfield, stands out as the best mall REIT.