Vacancy rates in retail centers rose last year, a trend not likely to reverse in 2008, says Kelly Bland, senior vice president retail properties at NAI Alliance.
The housing slump has put the brakes on second-mortgage fun money and dampened consumer spending. But Bland credits the rising vacancy rate to the wealth of new space that came onto the market last year at multiple new shopping centers in Spanish Springs.
Retail will follow rooftops so long as population growth continues, he says. However, retail will feel the pinch if a slowing economy constrains consumer ability to spend freely.