Vacancies declined at U.S. malls and held steady at strip shopping centers in the third quarter as landlords attracted new retailers to fill space as stalwarts such as Best Buy Co., Staples Inc., Gap Inc. and Office Depot Inc. closed stores or shifted to smaller ones.
Malls in the top 77 U.S. markets posted an average vacancy rate of 8.7% in the quarter, down from 8.9% in the second quarter, according to new data from real-estate research company Reis Inc. The latest figure is a notable step down from the recent high of 9.4% set in last year’s third quarter.
Mall rents, meanwhile, continued their slow rise, climbing 0.3% in the third quarter from the previous quarter to an average of $39.24 a square foot per year, according to Reis. The increase marked the fifth consecutive quarterly increase for malls, a group that includes large, enclosed shopping centers typically anchored by department stores.