Retail Rebound Thanks to Housing?
The vacancy rate at malls was 8.3 percent at the end of the second quarter, posting its lowest rate in more than four years. Vacancy rates at strip-shopping centers was at 10.5 percent, a decrease from 10.8 percent a year ago.
Despite the improvement, vacancy rates are still elevated compared to prior to the recession. In the first quarter of 2008, the vacancy rate was 7.7 percent—compared to 10.5 percent today.
However, the retail market is expected to progress in the coming months because new development had grinded mostly to a halt during the recession. According to the CoStar Group, about 31.5 million square feet of new retail space is expected to pop up this year—that compares with about 200 million in 2007 and 2008.
Source: “Retail Vacancies Lowest in 4 Years,” The Wall Street Journal (July 3, 2013)