Sep
22

Outlook Brightens for Outlet Centers

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While economic indicators point to a continued, albeit slow, recovery, unemployment and consumer confidence remain the two main sources of concern for landlords and retailers, noted Cushman & Wakefield’s Richard W. Latella at VRN’s Fall Outlet Leasing & Marketing Conference Monday.

Consumer sentiment fell in August by 19.2 percent year-over-year, and stands just 40 basis points above the low set in November 2008, he noted. GDP growth is expected to total 1.6 percent in 2011, he said, quoting a Wall Street Journal article. Retail sales growth for the year will reach 3.8 percent, according to an ICSC report.

There are other more positive signs of recovery, though. Retail real estate transaction volumes in the U.S. reached $22.1 billion in the first seven months of 2011, marking a 184.4 percent increase over the same period in 2010. Retail cap rates averaged 7.56 percent in the second quarter of this year, according to Cushman & Wakefield, representing a year-over-year decrease of 39 basis points.

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