Investors showed renewed interest in power centers during the first quarter, with transaction volume in the category increasing by 30.4 percent, according to a report from JLL Research and Real Capital Analytics.
Top grocery-anchored centers, too, continue to attract buyers, and the average price per square foot paid for these rose by 20.7 percent over the first quarter of 2018, to $255, according to the report.
For power center acquisitions, this marked the most-active first quarter since 2016.
“Investors are keen on the value creation opportunity that exists in the space, and activity was driven by private investors comfortable with the risk profile,” JLL analysts observe in the report.
“The [power center] sector has generally recovered quickly from store closures in the past, with landlords prepared to employ creative new uses and attract local tenants”
Retail property transactions overall declined by 4.9 percent during the quarter, coming to a total $11.1 billion.
“With continued mass retail stores closures in the headlines, investors continue to be cautious when evaluating the sector,” JLL says in the report, though the firm notes that the average vacancy rate has remained stable since 2017, at 4.4 percent. And while JLL is predicting that vacancy will rise this year, “the sector has generally recovered quickly from store closures in the past, with landlords prepared to employ creative new uses and attract local tenants.”
Restraint in the construction of new space has also helped with occupancy, having dropped back by an additional 8.9 percent year over year from the first quarter of last year.
By Edmund Mander