April 2, 2019 / 3:38 AM / 3 months ago

U.S. retail vacancy rate flat at 10.2 percent in first quarter: Reis

A woman leans against a column using her smartphone outside a Victoria's Secret at the King of Prussia Mall, United States' largest retail shopping space, in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, U.S., December 8, 2018. REUTERS/Mark Makela

(Reuters) - U.S. neighborhood and community shopping center retail vacancy rate was flat in the first quarter, real estate research firm Reis Inc said on Monday.

The national vacancy rate was 10.2 percent, unchanged from the fourth quarter, but marginally up from a year earlier.

The vacancy rates in 28 of 77 metros rose during the first quarter.

“As the retail sector continues to undergo restructuring, a number of retail real estate markets face more vacancies and falling rents. This pattern is expected to continue as more stores will close this year,” Reis said.

Both the national average asking rent and effective rent, excluding landlord concessions, increased 0.4 percent from the previous quarter, Reis said.

The regional mall vacancy rate marginally rose 0.3 percent to 9.3 percent in the wake of closure of over two dozen Sears stores. However, the average rent was flat during the first quarter.

For neighborhood and community shopping centers, net absorption, measured in terms of available space sold in the market, fell about 7.4 percent to 949,000 square feet in the first quarter from a year earlier. Also, new construction plunged about 53.9 percent to 832,000 square feet during the same period.

Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by James Emmanuel

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