Vacancy Rates at U.S. Malls Reach a 7-Year High

Vacancy rates in enclosed regional malls jumped to 9.1% in Q3 2018, the highest rate since Q4 2011, according to real estate research firm Reis in a study released Wednesday, which was cited by the Wall Street Journal.

The additional closings of Sears and Bon-Ton department stores contributed to the increase in vacancies, according to the report. The 9.1% rate is up from 8.6% in Q2, when store closings from other merchants including J.Crew, Abercrombie & Fitch and Lord & Taylor again pushed the mall vacancy rate to a multi-year high.

As vacancy rates ticked up, the Q3 average mall rent dipped 0.3% from Q2 to $43.25 per square foot, the first such decline Reis said it’s seen since 2011.