We’ll be there……will you?
According to Shopping Centers Today Newsletter, neighborhood and community center vacancies in the U.S. averaged 11 percent in the fourth quarter. That was unchanged from the previous quarter but up from 10.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010 and barely a notch off the all-time high of 11.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2007, according to real estate research firm Reis.
Open-air center landlords did manage to fill 3.18 million more square feet of space in the fourth quarter of 2011 than in the third, the sector’s largest occupancy gain since 2007. But the 1.89 million square feet of new open-air properties that came to market during the period brought the occupancy average down.
“While this represents welcome news, we remain wary about pronouncing a turnaround until we observe a few more quarters of improvement,” said Victor Calanog, Reis’ head of research, in a report. The fourth quarter tends to be the strongest period of the year for retail leasing, he said. Meanwhile fourth-quarter 2011 regional and super-regional mall vacancies eased to 9.2 percent from a 10-year high of 9.4 percent in the previous quarter, though that is up from 8.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010.