The recovery in the residential housing market and the economy at large is finally starting to have a positive effect on neighborhood strip malls.
CoStar, a leader in commercial real estate information, said retailers absorbed about 13 million square feet of neighborhood and strip shopping center space last year, twice the level of demand the previous year, while vacancies fell below 10 percent for the first time since the recession in 2008.
Those were among the key findings presented at CoStar’s “State of the U.S. Retail Market 2014 Review and Forecast.”
“We’ve seen net absorption really come on strong and vacancies are starting to fall quite quickly,” said Ryan McCullough, senior real estate economist for CoStar Portfolio Strategy.
Retail property sales rose to a record $43 billion last year, breaking the record set in 2007. At the same time, prices for retail property have risen about 38 percent from their 2009 bottom, according to the latest CoStar Commercial Repeat Sale Index (CCRSI).
There are several factors driving the improvement in this sector, including low interest rates, lower gasoline prices, higher employment and improved home sales and prices.
Despite store closures by Radio Shack and other national chains, “retailers are finding a way to open new stores, and demand is not only positive, it’s rising,” said Suzanne Mulvee, director of U.S. research, retail at CoStar.
The sector has also benefited from a lack of new supply, as little new store space is being built. Supply growth was only about one-quarter of the level of seven years ago, with 41 million square feet delivered in 2014 versus 160 million square feet in 2008, CoStar said. The lack of new supply means continued demand should lead to rent increases, McCullough noted.
“You’ll need a robust software system to manage properties efficiently.”
While all this is certainly good news if you’re a manager or investor in strip malls, you’ll need a robust software system to help you manage your properties more efficiently.
SKYLINE Breakpoint Retail Property Management Software from Anton Systems automates the entire process of managing, monitoring and maintaining retail properties in one place. It’s used by thousands of property managers, owners and investors to gain full control over shopping center portfolios, cash flow, budgets, sales performance, resources and reporting.
The convenient Web-based reporting dashboard enables you to view, monitor and manage real-time property, financial and performance data in one screen, and then drill down into the data to the unit and occupant level. It automatically calculates complex data to enable you to gain accurate calculations, performance data and analyses across all retailers and stores.
It also permits you to manage multiple leases with complex breakpoint clauses in a single, easy-to-use system. Important tenant and property documents are stored electronically for quick and easy retrieval.
The software allows you optimize and diversify your retail tenant mix, a big issue as tenants come and go.
SKYLINE for Retail Properties also helps you run your day-to-day operations. The Facilities Maintenance and Work Order Processing module enables you to easily create detailed tenant work orders as well as schedule and track routine maintenance. Tenants can also submit work order requests electronically via the web-based Tenant Work Request Portal. Work orders are then distributed via e-mail to multiple technicians and vendors.
And rest assured that Anton Systems is available to help you get the most out of your SKYLINE system and your portfolio. Our real estate experts can customize the right solutions for your needs and then train and support you so everyone on your team is leveraging your investment to its maximum potential.