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Greensboro's Retail Sector Sees Unprecedented Low Vacancy Rates Amid Surging Demand

In a significant development for Greensboro, North Carolina, the city's retail landscape is witnessing a scarcity of available space, driven by an exceptional demand for retail locations. This demand is exerting a continuous downward force on vacancy rates.

The current vacancy rate stands at a notable 3.8%, marking a consistent decline over the past decade. This trend is primarily attributed to the demand from tenants surpassing the introduction of new retail spaces. The coming six to 12 months are poised to see this trend persist, with retail developers showing caution in launching new speculative projects. This hesitancy stems partly from the recent closures of several big-box retailers, a consequence of the pandemic's impact and the rise of e-commerce.

2023 was a year of record lows in terms of retail construction starts in Greensboro, with just over 43,000 square feet commencing construction, as per CoStar’s data. Interestingly, a significant portion of this new space is already claimed, indicating that any increase in vacancy will be marginal in the short term. With limited new supply and consistent demand, CoStar anticipates a further contraction in available retail space over the next year.

The most significant demand spikes have been observed in High Point and Rockingham County over the previous year. High Point's appeal has been bolstered by the growth of High Point University, attracting more retail demand in its vicinity. Conversely, Rockingham County has benefited from various infrastructure improvements and industrial expansions, enhancing consumer purchasing power and fostering broader economic growth.

A key factor underpinning this retail demand in Greensboro is the region’s above-average growth in household median income over the last three years, outperforming national averages. This economic uptick is a result of the area's business-friendly climate and access to a skilled workforce. These economic and demographic factors are expected to continue bolstering consumer spending and retail demand in the near term.

Source: MMCG, CoStar

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