The Trends: Gloomy Confidence Pummels Transaction Value

The shaky economy has bruised the retail sector, as jittery consumers keep a tight rein on their expenditures and investors examine the market with a more cautious eye. To that end, third-quarter retail property sales transactions totaled $3.4 billion, a staggering, year-over-year drop of 80 percent, according to a Real Capital Analytics Inc. Capital Trends Monthly report. In fact, sales volume for the entire year will probably come in lower than that tallied during just the first half of 2007.The number of deals also fell considerably, down 70 percent from the same period a year ago, to 283. Of those, 140 were mall transactions, a 76 percent year-over-year drop, and 143 were strip center sales, a 70 percent skid. “Investment trends for strip centers are quite negative and among the poorest of all property types,” the report stated. “Surprisingly, anchored strips have seen cap rates rise much higher than for unanchored properties. Single-tenant retail is a relative bright spot among retail properties.”The report also slotted the top retail players in the third quarter. CB Richard Ellis Inc., NAI Global, Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services Inc., Grubb & Ellis Co. and Cushman Wakefield Inc. were the top five brokers; Publix Super Markets Inc., Millbrook Properties Ltd., Pep Boys, Terramar Retail Centers and Senior Housing Properties Trust made up the top five buyers; and Acadia Realty Trust, Albertsons Inc., Klaff Realty L.P., Life Time Fitness Inc. and Pritzker Realty Group L.P. formed the top five sellers.