June 27 (Reuters) - U.S. retail mall vacancies increased in the second quarter and rents were slightly higher, real estate research firm Reis Inc said in a report.
The national retail vacancy rate rose to 10 percent in the second quarter from 9.9 percent in the first quarter, partly due to new construction that was only partially absorbed by new leasing, Reis said.
The mall vacancy rate inched up 0.2 percent to 8.1 percent in the quarter from the earlier quarter due to confirmed closings of Macy's Inc stores, the research firm added.
Macy's has been closing underperforming stores and focusing on its digital business.
Net absorption, which is measured in terms of available retail space sold in the market during a certain time period, fell to 421,000 square feet in the quarter from 2 million square feet in the first quarter, the lowest level since 2011.
"The negative net absorption seen in June may be a harbinger of things to come in the next few quarters as more store closings will likely hit the statistics yielding negative net absorption," Barbara Denham, senior economist at Reis, said.
Asking rents increased 0.4 percent to $20.64 per square foot and effective rents increased 0.4 percent from the first quarter, according to the report.
Reporting by Radhika Rukmangadhan in Bengaluru; Edited by Martina D'Couto