Malls See Lower Vacancy Rate in First Quarter

New York, NY, April 4, 2013 -- The strip mall vacancy rate fell to 10.6% from 10.7% in the first quarter, according to research firm Reis.

Reis said new construction is near record lows as retailers are still struggling to recover and demand for space is low.

Regional malls showed some improvement in the first quarter, but luxury malls drove the lower vacancy rate and higher rents.

However, many retailers are still seeing soft demand and face stiff competition from online companies such as Amazon.

The total square feet of U.S. neighborhood strip centers rose by 0.04 percent, or 873,000 square feet, in the first quarter.

That was the fourth-lowest amount of space added since 1999. T