Sperry Van Ness International Corporation’s (SVNIC) 2014 Top Markets to Watch Reports assess the current state of the national commercial real estate market, and identify micro-trends within specific geographic regions and industries for 2014. Today we are delving into the 2014 Top Retail Markets to Watch. Not the largest or the most actively contested markets, the 2014 Retail Markets to Watch are each at an important juncture that presents unique opportunities for investment. Together, they reflect the diversity of trends that are driving the economy and commercial real estate performance in markets across the country.
TOP RETAIL MARKET TO WATCH : Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Oklahoma City’s retail real estate fundamentals are curiously fragile for a market with strong job growth. The metro area has created jobs in numbers well in excess of those lost during the downturn, and although the jobless rate showed volatility in 2013, the rate stood at 4.8 percent in December, one of the lowest in the nation. Retail space absorption is improving, registering stronger results in 2013 than in 2012. That annual gain masked a poor third quarter in which retailers gave back more than 100,000 square feet in neighborhood shopping centers. Mall vacancies have come down from more than 30 percent in 2012, but roughly a quarter of mall space remains dark, and single-digit lease rates at those properties are the lowest of any retail product type in the city. A drawback to the city’s low unemployment rate is a limited labor pool that has hampered corporate growth and recruitment of new employers, contributing to the slow recovery in retail. Job growth should top 2.2 percent in 2014, however, and with above-trend annual population growth of 1.6 percent, the metro has good prospects for increasing retail demand.
To read more on Oklahoma City, and other top retail markets, download the full version of the Top Retail Markets to Watch report below.
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