In the case of vacancies, going down is a good sign.
The increase of occupancies in U.S. shopping centers led to a net gain despite a slowly improving economy, according to a Businessweek.com article.
The net gain in occupied space, nearly 3 million square feet in the first quarter of 2012, is one of the largest since 2008, when shopping centers began to lose retailers.
Regional malls reported a 9 percent vacancy rate in the first quarter, a drop from 9.1 percent last year. Rents for those spaces were up, at $39 per square foot, as compared to $38.75.
Vacancies in shopping centers also dropped slightly, 10.9 percent in the first quarter of 2012, down from 11 percent in the last few months of 2011, but unchanged from the same time last year. Rents held steady at $16.57 per square foot, about the same price as in 2005.
The decline in vacancies reflects a slowly improving economy, but economists remain cautiously optimistic as they watch for more signs of improvement in the coming months.
These are interesting statistics. How are landlords increasing their occupancy? As many retail locations are trying to fill space, it’s interesting to see both rents and occupancy going up.
Other areas in the economy are also showing a slight turnaround: The unemployment rate in February was 8.3 percent, keeping its five-month streak of a jobless rate below 9 percent. The International Council of Shopping Centers reported that sales among U.S. retailers rose 4.1 percent from last year.
Source: Businessweek, April 2012