Market Highlights:

Occupancy sustains climb, up 30 bps to  94.4% during last 90 days

  • Within Houston’s tightening retail market, strong net absorption and heavily pre-leased deliveries caused occupancy to register at 94.4%, above its 8 year average of 93.1%. However, as construction starts slow and completions require more time to come online, rates of occupancy and rents are  expected to be temperate in the short-term.

 

Grocery-Anchored retail: a darling for investors?

  • Nearly 1 million-sq.-ft. of retail space was delivered during the first quarter, of which close to 400,000 sf were grocery-anchored centers such as Kroger and HEB. Hispanic food retailer Grupo Comercial Chedraui is acquiring Houston-based Fiesta Mart for $300 million as it attempts to strengthen its relevance in the Spanish-speaking market in the U.S.

 

Unabated POPULATION GROWTH  ‘feeds’ NEED FOR RETAIL

  • Metro Houston added 94,417 residents in 2017, to reach a total population just shy of  6.9 million, according to the U.S. Census. Despite announcements of retail bankruptcies dominating headlines, demand remains healthy; from 2011 to 2017, Houston added approximately 2,700 people per week, supporting expanding retail, which explains why 40% of recent completions are grocery-anchored.

 

Toys r Us announces U.S. liquidation

  • In March, Toys R Us filed a motion seeking bankruptcy court approval to begin liquidation of its 735 U.S and Puerto Rico stores. The closures are expected to occur within the first nine months of 2018. In Houston, the retailer has 18 locations, totaling nearly 675,000 sq. ft. of space.