An annual report by Marcus and Millichap, a real estate investment and brokerage firm, showed a drop in the nationwide vacancy rate for retail properties, from 10.2% last year to the current 10%, according to an article in the San Diego Union.
The Encino, Calif.-based company forecasted 64 million sq. ft. of retail space will be under construction in 2011, double that of 2010.
“The tide has begun to turn,” the report said, thanks to monthly retail sales at $275 billion at the end of 2010, after excluding autos and gas. The authors called this benchmark breakthrough “a critical bellwether of consumer demand.”
But it noted there is still an excess of store space in many markets, and increasing sales aren’t high enough to raise rents for retail space. No change in rental rates were predicted nationally u