For the first time since 2008, the percentage of retail real estate sitting empty in the Phoenix-area has fallen into the single digits. On “Arizona Horizon,” Greg Abbott of retail real estate firm CBRE says the Valley’s 9.6% retail vacancy rate is a good sign for the economy.

 It’s really a reflection of I think the general economy. It shows that
we’ve gone through the downturn and I think we’re on the back end of that now
and gradually improving. Abbot says the retail real estate market may be doing better than indicated by the numbers. “From where we sit at CBRE, at least with the retail space we’re working on I would say it’s a
little more positive than the market indicates.” He says the improving vacancy rates could lead to something that hasn’t happened for a while in the Valley. “
As more and more tenants come in and as we haven’t built a lot of space over the you know, since 2008, we’ll see demand for
new construction.”  He says there are a couple of factors pushing retail vacancy rates down. “One is expansion of existing tenants and also new tenants into the
market. Number two is the lack of new construction. Those two things together
is creating kind of a double whammy and pushing vacancy rates down.”

Mike Sauceda