Things are looking up for retail real estate assets in the US, as consumer spending growth has helped boost the sector. Jones Lang LaSalle revealed several factors combined to bring greater stability to the industry. "Upward retail sales figures and a growing population continue to drive a modest recovery, though many remain cautious because of the European crisis and upcoming US presidential election," president and chief executive officer of Jones Lang LaSalle Retail Greg Maloney stated.
It appears the positive growth in retail sales has continued into the second half of 2012, with the US Census Bureau's most recent figures for July revealing the value of consumer transactions increased by 0.8 per cent last month, compared to June, and is 4.1 per cent higher than a year earlier.
Mr Maloney commented that, while it is primarily core markets where growth has been recorded, there are indications some secondary areas are expected to "emerge from the downturn" in the near future. Nationally, rents for retail premises were lower in the second quarter than a year earlier, however, there are some markets - most notably Miami, Washington and Tampa - where rents are rising, and therefore bucking the trend. This has been attributed to the strong underlying fundamentals of such locations, as well as the lack of new retail developments.
Investors have been targeting assets in South Florida, Chicago and Los Angeles, managing director and co-leader of the firm's retail capital markets group Margaret Caldwell revealed, noting property investment volumes in the retail industry stood at USD 11.6 billion (GBP 7.4 billion) in the three months from April to June this year. She added that Chicago posted the largest volume of retail real estate transactions during this period, accounting for USD 5.2 billion of sales. Ms Caldwell pointed out there could be further growth in retail investment over the coming months, as new assets - including class A shopping centres - are expected to come on to the market before the end of this year.
- Thursday 23 August 2012