The world's biggest shopping centre owner yesterday flagged the end of the slump facing the value of its property empire as domestic retail sales surged on the back of the federal government's stimulus package.

After wiping $3.3bn from its books last calendar year, Westfield Group chairman Frank Lowy yesterday said the worst of the group's property writedowns had passed.

'On the devaluation front we are close to the bottom,' Lowy told shareholders at the group's annual general meeting in Sydney.

'We may get a bit more, we may get a bit less but ... I don't expect we would have much more devaluation of our properties.'

The Australian