International investors buying into U.S. retail real estate tend to pursue two different types of assets: core opportunities in select cities, such as so-called fortress retail centers, and riskier, high-cap shopping centers. Currently the former is in the most demand, says Mark Gilbert, executive vice president of Retail Investments in Miami's Cushman & Wakefield Capital Markets Group. Limited supply is a problem, however, which means buyers have been predominately REITs and other institutional players. Canadian REITs are among the most active.

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