- Vacant space in the CBD rose to over 7,000 sq m in the June quarter reflecting a vacancy rate of 6.7% compared to the 4.1% recorded in the December quarter last year. The increase was largely influenced by a small number of larger units which have become available in the Willis Street precinct.
- Retail development in Wellington remains muted with a majority of the pipeline comprising small ground floor retail spaces in residential projects or offices. This coupled with an increasing amount of stock being removed for refurbishment has seen a reduction in total floor space from 112,530 sq m to 111,618 sq m in the latest survey.
- Approximately 1,100 sq m of prime retail space will be added to the Cuba precinct in the coming months when refurbishment works on the ex-farmers site completes. Telecommunications provider Spark and apparel retailer Glassons have committed to tenancies.
- Investor interest in large format retailing and supermarket-type stores has been heightened by their defensive investment asset characteristics. For example, 98-100 Abel Smith Road, Te Aro tenanted by Liqourland recently transacted for $6.0 million representing an approximate initial yield of 5.75% to a local private investor.
- COVID-19 enforced lockdowns have highlighted the importance to retailers of having a strong online presence. The greater familiarity with online shopping is accelerating change within the retail sector such as the proposed development by Countdown of a new dedicated ‘eStore’ in Wellington following the success of the first concept store in Auckland.
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