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|Retail deal activity has been scarce in 2010. The experts at CoStar tell us there have only been two trades of $5M or greater since the start of the year. In both instances, the buyer was California-based Excel Trust, a retail-focused REIT. The trust paid $35M for a shopping plaza in Rockwall anchored by a Best Buy and JCPenney, and another shopping plaza in Fort Worth for $21M, anchored by an Old Navy and Barnes & Noble, CoStar reports. The largest observed deal since 2009 was recorded in May 2009, when an institutional investor acquired a partial stake in the Highland Park Village in Dallas for $164M. It's interesting to note that DFW didn't have the same run-up in retail investments over the past several years that many other metros did. From 2002â04, average annual transaction volume ($530M) was actually higher than the average annual volume ($520M) from 2005â07. Either way, trading remains depressed, with the full-year volume of 2009 the lowest since 2002.|