The picture across Great Britain. Britain’s shop vacancy falls to 13.0% in March from a rate of 13.1% in February. The overall retail and leisure vacancy rate has also fallen slightly to 11.6% from 11.7% in February.
Fig 1. GB Shop vacancy rate 2008-2015
Fig 2. Vacancy rates by property type March 2015
Analysis of vacancy rates by occupation type shows that Shop vacancy in March was 13.0% (-0.1%), Leisure vacancy was 8.3% (0.0%), and All (Retail & Leisure) vacancy rate was 11.6%(-0.1%).
Matthew Hopkinson comments:
These numbers are encouraging and reflect the wider positive news on consumer sentiment and spend. These numbers were last seen back in 2010 so it is a cause for celebration!
Recent closure news from B&Q and Morrisons show that these numbers can very easily change in the opposite direction. Whilst these numbers show more shops opening, we are also seeing structural change where shops are changing use to alternative uses and March saw the largest number of demolished properties at 95 (40 in February).
Whilst one should not underestimate the challenges retailers face with price deflation and a very savvy consumer we are continuing to see the growth of food and beverage outlest on our high streets which will occupy vacanct shops when planning allows.