Report: U.S. retail availability expected to decline in 2012

Boston -- A report released Monday by CBRE Econometric Advisors, a division of Los Angeles-based CBRE Group, said that the U.S. retail real estate sector’s availability rate is expected to decline to 12.4% by the end of 2012.

In 2013, the national retail availability rate, including neighborhood and community centers, will drop further, reaching 11.7%.
In third quarter 2011 the retail availability rate was 13.2%. This rate remains well above the previous availability peak of 11.3% set in second quarter 1992.

“Net absorption is finally in positive territory after spending the first half of 2011 in the red,” said Abigail Rosenbaum, economist, CBRE-EA. “Absorption will remain positive over the next few years but will remain close to, or below, the historical average.”

CBRE-EA said it projects new construction will remain historically low during the next year. However, rents will decline slightly by 0.7% in 2012. A modest increase in rents of 1.8% is projected for 2013.

“We do not expect rents to get back to their 2008 levels until early 2017,” added Rosenbaum. CBRE-EA does project positive retail rent growth during the next two years in Denver, Austin, Nashville, Tenn., New York and Columbus, Ohio.

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