An unprecedented 32 million m² of shopping centre space is currently under construction across the world, representing a 15% increase year-on-year (28 million m² in 2012), according to the latest research from global property advisor CBRE.
According to the report emerging markets are dominant in the trend, with half of the space under construction (16.8 million m2) in China alone. Seven of the 10 most active development markets globally are in China, including Chengdu (2.9 million m²) and Tianjin (2.1 million m²), with Shenyang, Chongqing, Wuhan, Guangzhou and Hangzhou due to deliver over one million m² over the next three years. Istanbul, Moscow, St Petersburg, Abu Dhabi, New Delhi, Kiev, Hanoi and Kuala Lumpur were all mentioned as experiencing significant growth in the sector.
According to the report the growing middle class in emerging markets is responsible for their dominance in this sector, along with the urbanisation of major cities and consumer demand for an improving retail experience. . Retailers, including many from Western Europe and North America, are competing to take advantage of these new opportunities.
In Europe Istanbul was the most active development market in the sector last year with the opening of seven new centres, including Marmara Park (94,000 m²) and Trump Towers (41,000 m²). Istanbul will be the most active development market in coming years with 32 centres currently under construction. Across Europe, shopping centre development in 2012 increased by 10% year-on-year to 1.71 million m².
Unsurprisingly Russia is next in line behind Turkey, as it continues to benefit from an improving economic picture. In St. Petersburg, new residential areas supported by enhanced road and rail links are driving shopping centre development, with 0.5 million m² under construction. Moscow has the largest development pipeline, with 815,000 m² due to open over the next two to three years.
Ukraine's Kiev is also a rising star in the sector, with 445,000 m² under construction in eight centres, making it the fourth most active development market in Europe. Kiev also attracted a record 40 new international retailers last year.