Retail vacancy rates drop to 12.7%

Vacant retail units and floorspace have continued to fall for 18 months according to research by Colliers International.

In October 2011, 12.7% of units across the sample of 15 towns and cities were empty, down from 13.3% last April. Some 9% of retail floorspace was vacant in October compared with 9.7% six months earlier.

Richard Doidge, director of research consultancy at Colliers International, said: “The overall amount of vacant floorspace in our sample of towns has risen by 570,000 sq ft, or just over 51%, in five years. However, over the same period total retail floorspace stock increased by 1,421,000 sq ft or 8% (adding in new development and subtracting demolitions). Therefore, the total occupied retail floorspace actually increased by 851,000 sq ft (or 5%) through the recession. Although our sample does include a couple of major shopping centre openings, the headline vacancy rates do tend to mask the broader picture which is not as negative.

This article is paraphrased from Property Week's retail property update by Kay Spybey. For the full article, subcribers can click here 

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