In another edition of our annual tradition, we reached out to several CRE experts from around the country specializing in retail real estate to provide their predictions and insights regarding what they expect to see within the retail market and upcoming trends moving into 2024.
The overall expertise provided by the selected retail professionals are upbeat. Many of the expert respondents mentioned interest rates as a protagonist once again this year, and they see that transaction velocity will increase with the easing of interest rates. Other common themes that are mentioned in the predictions below are: 1) the development of retail space and 2) movement of consumers influencing the economy.
To accompany the various expert points below, we’ve also links to Flame Analytics’ Challenges and Trends for Shopping Centers in 2024 and Placer.ai’s Retail Trends to Watch in 2024. These report covers several trends that may effect shopping centers, consumer habits, and the retail market in general.
Without further ado, let’s get to the expert predictions…
Here is what real estate experts say about Retail Trends in 2024:
In 2024, I am excited to see the benefits of the slow-down / stop for new development in the retail sector. Increased interest rates have pulled most development lenders out of the market and new deals just don’t pencil, so we have been seeing increased demand for existing space.
This should continue to right-size the amount of square footage in the industry which will result in healthier occupancy levels and increased rents. It should also allow construction prices to continue to stabilize and perhaps decrease a bit.
Finally, consumer demand for daily necessities and entertainment is still very strong so I am excited to see the resilience of the American consumer continue into 2024.”
Brenna Wadleigh, CEO, N3 Real Estate
The first half of 2024 will likely bring continued price calibration as the bid ask spread begins to narrow. Cap rates could expand another 25 – 50 basis points which corresponds to an average of 5 to 15% decrease in property values early in the year. The second half of 2024 should see price stabilization and a significant increase in deal making, much to the relief of most in the industry.
New development will remain muted in the coming year with only 14 million sq ft of new multi-tenant retail space scheduled for delivery, only half of projected demand. Constrained debt markets, scarcity of labor, and high construction costs continue to make new projects difficult. The lack of available space will push tenants to be more flexible on their prototypes to meet expansion goals.
Finally, the suburbs will continue to see outsized growth as population migration has proven sticky and retailers focus on open air concepts closer to the consumer.“
Karly Iacono, Senior Vice President, CBRE Capital Markets
I’m most excited about the continued morphing of the Retailer / Shopper Experience as it relates to our evolving malls, in particular. From traditional bricks & mortar merchants that are more progressively embracing existing and nascent technologies like AI, to shopping centers that are filling larger vacancies with movie theaters and bowling alleys, for example, finding innovative ways to cater to the shopper’s experience has become critical to luring back bodies and keeping the lights on.
Today’s consumers have become increasingly savvy as they shop both in person and online simultaneously, and many retailers are finally starting to catch up by embracing more of a hybrid online/physical shopping experience. In fact we’ve only just begun to witness what that looks like in different retail categories and from merchant to merchant, so we can expect increased competition among retailers as they seek to differentiate their services to attract shoppers.
As a commercial real estate professional and adviser to property owners, landlords and tenants, this changing retail landscape has created an opportunity for people in my profession to be active participants in this evolution, and I’m here for it!”
Lisa Shields, Vice President, Radius Commercial Real Estate
In 2024 with well-located bank branches closing, I am looking forward to the redevelopment of these spaces.
They are often 1 – 2 acres on hard corners or within shopping centers, so the opportunities are great!”
Russell Bornstein, Senior Director, Colliers International
I am very excited to see even more increased CRE activity in South Florida as rates begin to get cut. As South Florida continues to be smokin’ HOT, more and more retail and office tenants will look for space, and more wealth will migrate to our area contributing to high sales for our FB and retail tenants.
I am HIGH on the South Florida CRE market! The lack of new development in retail will cause rents to rise in existing assets.”
Beth Azor, President, Azor Advisory Services
Transaction velocity in Florida for grocery-anchored retail centers was down 50% in 2023. This was mostly due to a lack of inventory since sellers were reluctant to bring properties to market while interest rates were consistently rising.
We expect banks to increase their appetite to lend on retail deals in 2024 and now that interest rates have settled a down some, we also expect to see more deals come to market, causing a rebound in transaction velocity by the second half of 2024.”
Kirk Olson, Senior Vice President, Institutional Property Advisors
I am excited for federal rate hikes to cease or possibly decline as many are hoping, and for this to hopefully translate into a more stable financing market for commercial properties. Needless to say, but the past 18 months have seen a massive decline in transaction activity while retail fundamentals have been incredibly strong.
As I say goodbye to 2023, I am hopeful that 2024 sees interest rates that lead for more transaction activity and more retail development.”
Anthony Blanco, Partner / Director of Investment Sales, TSCG
On a macro level, retail has experienced anemic supply growth as compared to its counterparts in the Multifamily and industrial sectors. Coupled with at least steady or growing demand in most markets, has led to a strong rent growth outlook and kept it favorable.
In South Florida we’re having a different problem – the lack of available supply that is pushing rent growth to levels not previously seen; it is a good problem to have if you’re a retail landlord. I foresee this trend will continue throughout 24’ and should the macro headwinds moderate and interest rates taper down, we may see a stronger pipeline of new supply. This remains to be seen however and is still an unlikely case for 2024.”
Marcos Puente, Principal, MMG Equity Partners