Interesting article yesterday by Sasha M Pardy on the CoStar site…


Based on the flurry of reports from a wide range of industry observers, there appears to be growing consensus that the worst may be over for the U.S. economy and that, with consumer spending returning to positive, a retail real estate recovery is in sight, say industry forecasters.

We’re not out of the woods yet, however, these same observers caution. The market should not expect 2010 to end with much-improved occupancy, higher rental rates, a flood of new space completions, or higher property sale prices. Instead, forecasters at Property & Portfolio Research, Grubb & Ellis, Marcus & Millichap, Jones Lang LaSalle and CB Richard Ellis, predict 2010 will mark a return to stability for the majority of U.S. retail markets.

Setting a hopeful direction for retailers’ sales in the coming year, the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) reported that retailers posted a 1.8% gain in sales for the holiday selling period (November-December). While positive, the sales figures are not considered “strong,” but instead as setting a foundation for an expected stronger pace of retail spending in 2010. All-in-all, retailer’s same store sales declined 2.4% in 2009 and for all of 2010, ICSC is forecasting a 3.9% gain in sales year-over-year across all retail segments.