Shopping center occupancy rates hit six-year high in 2014

by Justine Griffin

Thanksgiving Day shopping in Southwest Florida.Shopping centers across the United States posted an average occupancy rate of 92.7 percent at the end of the fourth quarter in 2014, making the highest level since 2008, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers. The ICSC, a retail industry trade group, partnered with the National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries to determine the property data results for retail centers in America. The study found strong growth in the U.S. shopping center industry with year-over-year growth in occupancy rates, tenant rents and net operating income. Shopping malls posted an average occupancy rate of 94.2 percent at the end of last year, a level the ICSC hasn’t seen since 1987. “The 2014 data paints a very strong picture of the shopping center industry for the year ahead, and is especially promising in the mall segment,” said Jesse Tron, ICSC spokesman. “Record growth in key indicators such as occupancy and net operating income strongly indicate a healthy outlook and further underline the ability of the industry to innovate to fit the needs of today’s consumer.”

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