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Retail ''One to Watch'' for Commercial Property Investors

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United States  Europe  Dubai  Jones Lang LaSalle  London  CB Richard Ellis  Paris  Moscow  New York City  retail property sector  Grosvenor Group  Richard Barkham  retail property industry  retail leasing sector  Peter Gold 

Retail ''One to Watch'' for Commercial Property Investors

By - Monday 14 May 2012

The retail sector is beginning to rebound in certain parts of the world, according to one real estate expert. Speaking during a Property Week webinar, group research director at the Grosvenor Group Richard Barkham explained there are indications the market is beginning to register on investors' radars. "Over the last two or three years, it has been the office market that has led; however, as we move through the crisis and consumers around the world complete their deleveraging, we begin to see some prospects for a consumer upturn," he asserted.

His statement is backed up by research published earlier this month by Jones Lang LaSalle. In the firm's most recent Global Market Perspective, it noted there are signs the retail industry is recovering in the Asia-Pacific, the US and even Europe. The organisation described Europe's prime retail and warehousing assets as "resilient", highlighting cities including Moscow, Paris, Lisbon, Brussels and Amsterdam for their rental growth during the first quarter of the year. Meanwhile "solid consumer activity" is helping drive the sector in the Asia-Pacific, the report stated, with China standing out as the most robust market. Demand from international brands has contributed significantly to the strength of its retail leasing sector.

Jones Lang LaSalle added the US's main retail destinations have yet to see a real recovery get underway, but the research points to the markets reaching their bottom. According to the survey, vacancy rates and rents held steady in the first three months of 2012, with Boston, Los Angeles, Washington DC, Chicago, San Francisco and New York City all categorised as markets where "rental values [are] bottoming out". A report published by CB Richard Ellis (CBRE) last month revealed London is still the number one destination for international retailers, with Dubai and New York in second and third places respectively. The top five is rounded out by Paris and Moscow in fourth and Hong Kong in the fifth spot. Peter Gold, head of Europe, the Middle East and Africa cross-border retail at CBRE, stated: "In the face of ongoing economic uncertainty, which looks set to remain throughout 2012, retailers have responded by seeking to de-risk their expansion activities."

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