Retail properties

Vacancies fall at US community centres

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 08 April, 2015, 6:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 18 April, 2015, 4:43pm

US neighbourhood and community centre vacancies fell for a second quarter, indicating a pick-up in a market that has remained subdued since 2013 as consumers increasingly take to online shopping, real estate research firm Reis said.

Vacancies at the neighbourhood and community centres, which generally house discount stores, drugstores and supermarkets, fell to 10.1 per cent in the first quarter from 10.2 per cent in the fourth, Reis said.

"Just a 40-basis-point annual decline in vacancy would be the best performance [for the sector] since 2000 during the dotcom bubble," said Ryan Severino, a senior economist at Reis.

New construction hovered at low levels as the market had little enthusiasm for developing new centres, preferring expansions, Reis said.

Many US retailers have shut stores in malls to take advantage of booming e-commerce sales.

Severino said he expected an improvement in market fundamentals to persist for the rest of the year.