The Real Deal Miami

National retail space availability climbing

April 23, 2009 09:17AM

The nation’s retail market posted negative quarterly net absorption for the first time since CoStar Group began tracking retail trends in 2000, along with the highest vacancy and availability rates. According to CoStar’s first-quarter report, quarterly retail leasing activity has dropped off about 9 million square feet over the last two quarters, leading to 24 million square feet of negative net absorption, and a 7.2 percent total vacancy rate during the first quarter of the year. Jay Spivey, senior director of research and analytics at CoStar, said since the recession began, 697 million square feet of available retail space has been added to the market.