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Impact of Slowing Economy on Retail Construction

An interesting piece over at CoStar looks at the third quarter stats--it finds 221 million square feet of retail space under construction--and how the slowing economy is affecting the trend. Comments from Garrett Newland and Gerald Divaris are also featured in the piece.

During third quarter, 33 million square feet of retail space broke ground while 24 million square feet of retail space was completed. Both of these figures are the lowest quarterly amounts recorded since CoStar started publishing the data in first quarter 2006.

On a quarterly basis, third quarter retail construction starts were down 10 million square feet (18%) over last quarter, down 43 million square feet (67%) over first quarter 2007 and down 4.75 million square feet (12.6%) over the same time last year.

Total retail square footage delivered to the market during third quarter was down 1.1 million square feet (4%) over last quarter, down 3.9 million square feet (13.9%) over first quarter and down 2.2 million square feet (12.7%) over this time last year. Note that the average size of both retail projects delivered and retail projects under construction has been on the rise over the last three quarters.

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