General retail—which CoStar defines as single tenant freestanding building—boasts the lowest vacancy rate of all retail property sectors. According to CoStar’s historical data (which excludes some markets that are included in its current data set), the vacancy rate at general retail properties fell to 5.0 percent during the first quarter of 2011—the lowest level since the fourth quarter of 2008.

The figure for the total market was 7.2 percent—down from a peak of 7.6 percent in the first quarter of 2010 and the best figure since the first quarter of 2009.

The figure for malls was 5.8 percent. That is stable from the fourth quarter of 2010 and down 30 basis points from the figure of 6.1 percent posted in each of the first three quarters of 2010.

Shopping centers, meanwhile, had the highest vacancy rate at 10.9 percent—down 20 basis points from the figures posted in the first and second quarters of 2010.

Source: CoStar Property

retail property vacancy rates