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Mall Vacancy Rates Hold Steady In Q1 Despite Massive Retail Bankruptcies, Store Closures


Mall vacancy rates remained largely flat in Q1, despite retail bankruptcy levels exceeding those experienced during the Great Recession and multiple high-profile closings. 

That is according to Reis research, which said the regional mall vacancy rate stood at 7.9% in Q1, up from 7.8% in Q4 but down from the cyclical peak of 9.4% in Q3 2011, Retail Dive reports. In Q1 mall vacancies rose in 28 of the 77 U.S. metros while in Q4 they rose in 30 U.S. metro areas.

Experts said the weakest malls are continuing to lose retailers and customers, but that most neighborhood and community malls are holding around a 9.9% vacancy rate, hovering around the same levels as Q1 2016. While vacancies are not soaring, experts said mall property values are suffering and between January and November of last year, 314 loans secured by retail properties were liquidated at a $1.68B loss.