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Report: Mall vacancy rate is highest in six years

Though leasing activity in the first quarter of any year is historically slow, new retail lease signings were especially light during the first three months of 2018.

A report from Reis, Inc., said the vacancy rate at regional malls increased only minimally — to 8.4% from 8.3% in Q4 2017 — but that the 435,000 sq. ft. of net absorption was the lowest for any quarter in more than five years.

This came despite the fact that the completion of 712,000 sq. ft. of new shopping center space fell well below current trends. The quarterly average for new construction in 2017 was 3.1 million sq. ft.

Neighborhood and community shopping centers in 41 of the 77 metropolitan areas surveyed by Reis also saw an uptick in vacancies during the 12 months ending on March 31.

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