Monday, July 24, 2017

Over mall-ed?

Time magazine talks about the death of American shopping malls, and someone quotes some figures about which I would love to know the Australian equivalent:
Some of the great mall die-off is what economists refer to as a market correction. "We are over-retailed," says Ronald Friedman, a partner at Marcum LLP, which researches consumer trends. There is an estimated 26 sq. ft. of retail for every person in the U.S., compared with about 2.5 sq. ft. per capita in Europe. Roughly 60% of Macy's stores slated to close are within 10 miles of another Macy's.
I've commented before that the shopping centre/mall nearest me seems to be having a sudden downturn in tenants, making their last expansion now look ill considered.   Certainly, my feeling is that centre owners in this country have become ridiculously greedy in terms of rent increases, and it seems they are hurting themselves in the long term by doing so.

But three of the largest suburban shopping centres in Brisbane - Indooroopilly, Chermside and (particularly) Garden City - always seem very busy.  They have large cinema complexes that I think help support their food outlets, at least.  

Update:  have a look at this Axios article too, about the plunge in a lot of commercial real estate valuations in the US, particularly in regional areas.  Here, I'll cut and paste part of it:
The shift to on-line shopping is now striking at the underlying value of malls, and commercial real estate as a whole.
  • About $120 billion in U.S. commercial mortgages mature this year: Borrowers went delinquent on about $2.4 billion of it in June alone, according to Trepp, a real estate data provider, quoted by the WSJ.
  • It was the largest rise in delinquencies in six years, according to Fitch, the rating agency. Fitch's silver lining: it's not as bad as it expected at the beginning of the year.
  • Still, more defaults are coming: The credit industry expects delinquencies on such debt to escalate over the coming year, according to a new poll of portfolio managers, and to spread globally.
  • Look at this number: In the FT, Blackstone executive Nadeem Meghji said the value of regional malls in smaller cities may be down 40% on average over the last two years.

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