A slowdown in both the growth of consumer spending and the hesitancy of retailers to sign leases in such uncertain times has contributed to a "change in trajectory" for regional malls, Reis chief economist Sam Chandran said.
"It's only one quarter, so we don't want to go too far, but the numbers are significant enough that we are starting to see that deterioration," Chandran said.
Vacancy rates at regional malls rose 0.3 percentage point to 5.8 percent and asking rent fell 0.4 percent to $40.37 per square foot in the fourth quarter from the third quarter.
The story also mentions that vacancies at neighborhood and power centers rose to 7.5 percent--the highest point in a decade. This is another sign that we're past the peak of the market, but vacancies would need to get much higher for the picture to become really bleak.