Cushman & Wakefield has published a new study, Race to the Bottom: Retail Continues to Develop New Strategies as the Financial Crisis Deepens, exploring the outlook for the retail real estate sector in 2009. The report parses retail trends in several interesting ways, including the chart below charting retail sales trends against home prices. The chart was produced by Cushman & Wakefield’s Capital Market Group using Moody’s Data.

The report concludes that retail is undergoing a challenging restructuring that’s being exacerbated by the financial crisis. Ultimately, Cushman & Wakefield’s report concludes that there is reason to be hopeful, reading, “If there is a silver lining for property owners, it’s that retailers are now more inclined to rent their space rather than build new stores to improve their balance sheets. As property owners refocus on improving existing portfolios, this trend will help moderate vacancy losses from increased store closings. This chain of events will ultimately place many owners in a more stable competitive position once the market improves.