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Wellington Retail Report | Second Half 2021

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  • The Wellington CBD retail vacancy rate reduced to 6.2% in the June 2021 survey, down from 7.0% recorded in June 2020. While there has been some buoyant leasing activity for prime quality and well-located shops, overall leasing conditions remain challenging, especially for secondary premises. Overall strip retail vacancy rates are expected to remain elevated over the next 12-18 months , especially in the hospitality and entertainment sectors, due to restricted trading activity from Covid-19 Alert Level requirements.
  • While consents issued for retail space is on the rise, the total supply of retail space in the CBD is not expected to increase significantly over the next 12 months. Pockets of new retail space will become available in the CBD due to new office tower developments, however the focus on alternative shopping and retailing locations around the region is where growth will predominantly occur. The completion of retail refurbishment programmes will also boost supply and new leasing options.
  • Average gross prime retail rents within the CBD have remained steady over the opening half of 2021, increased incentives, however, are on offer. While a similar situation is apparent for regional centre rents, bulk retail premises continue to show the greatest resilience in rental levels, a reflection of the ability to trade during lockdowns and/or providing a compelling online presence.

  • Investor sentiment in the retail sector has been  improving in recent months as interest rates have remained low and cashflows have been growing, buoyed by greater job security expectations and a lift in consumer spending. Elevated alert level restrictions are a reminder of the benefits that prime retail assets provide in regards to stability and security. While buyers will approach opportunities on a case-by-case basis, prime retail yields are forecast to hold, with competition for bulk retail assets likely to drive the most enquiry.

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Wellington Retail Report | Second Half 2021

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