October 3, 2018 / 3:30 AM / 2 months ago

U.S. retail vacancies flat at 10.2 pct in third quarter - Reis

Oct 2 (Reuters) - U.S. retail vacancies remained flat at 10.2 percent in the third quarter, while a number of Sears Holdings Corp and Bon-Ton store closures boosted mall vacancy rates, real estate research firm Reis Inc said in a report.

The mall vacancy rate jumped to 9.1 percent in the third quarter, from 8.3 percent a year earlier. The jump in vacancy does not account for a number of owner-occupied Sears and Bon-Ton stores that also closed.

Reis said the retail sector is still correcting and the growth of e-commerce has rendered a number of older retailers obsolete.

Only 28 of 77 metros saw an increase in vacancy in the quarter, according to the report.

"Other retailers have survived only after developing an omni-channel approach to selling that includes an online presence," the real estate research firm said.

Net absorption was 2.3 million square feet in the third quarter, compared with 1.9 million square feet a year earlier.

The national average asking rents, as well as the effective rent rose about 2 percent.

Only 2.3 million square feet of new construction was completed in the quarter, a 27.9 percent drop, according to the report. (Reporting by Sanjana Shivdas in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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