U.S. Mall Vacancies Rise to Their Highest in More than 10 Yrs.

Vacancies at U.S. malls and shopping centers hit 10-year high, according to first-quarter data released today (Wednesday) by Reis Inc. (REIS), a New York-based co. that maintains a proprietary database containing detailed info. on commercial real properties in neighborhoods and metropolitan markets in the U.S.

Retail vacancies reflected a net decrease in occupied space of 8.7 million square feet, the biggest drop for a single quarter and more than the 8.65 million square feet given back during all of 2008.

Rents paid by tenants fell 1.8% from the previous quarter and 2.9% from a year ago…

The vacancy rate at neighborhood and community shopping centers rose to 9.5% from 8.9% the previous quarter and 7.7% a year ago…

Vacancies at regional malls and super-regional malls…climbed to 7.9% from 7.1% in the fourth quarter and 5.9% a year earlier.

While Reis doesn’t forecast regional mall vacancies, “the outlook for the retail sector in general is bleak,” said Victor Calanog, director of research at the New York-based real estate research firm. [via Bloomberg]

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