US retail vacancies stay flat in Q3 amid rampant store closures

Those rates at shopping centers rose in 34 of 77 metro areas

Oct.October 04, 2017 02:20 PM

Fifth Avenue retail (Credit: Getty Images)

Maybe retail isn’t screwed after all, or at least not getting much worse.

A new report from the real estate research firm Reis Inc. shows that the overall retail vacancy rate between the second and third quarter stayed flat at 10 percent, while asking rents went up by 0.4 percent, according to the Wall Street Journal. Additionally, while shopping center vacancy rates went up in 34 of 77 metro areas during the third quarter, this was a better showing than the second quarter, when vacancy rates went up in 39 areas.

Vacancies did rise slightly in regional malls, going up from 8.1 percent in the second quarter to 8.3 percent in the third quarter, but remained lower than 2011’s record vacancy rate of 9.4 percent.

Retail has faced many well-publicized problems over the years, but expanding restaurants, grocery stores and fitness centers are helping the industry deal with issues like an oversupply of stores and the emergence of e-commerce. Discount stores like Dollar General and Dollar Tree also plan to open about 2,000 new stores this year. [WSJ]Eddie Small

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