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Main Streets Dominate Retail Leasing in Q2 2024, Mall Vacancy Rates Decline: Cushman & Wakefield Report….

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Staff Reporter : Kolkata, 9th July, 2024 – Cushman & Wakefield, one of the largest and the fastest growing real estate services firm in India unveiled its Q2-2024 Retail MarketBeat Report, highlighting the continued dominance of main street retail leasing, owing to limited new mall openings and a strong demand for high-quality retail spaces.

Retailers are increasingly focusing on main streets in prominent locations across India, with emerging clusters forming around residential and commercial hubs. This trend is reflecting in leasing activity with high street leases accounting for 70% of total leases in Q2 2024, compared to 30% for mall leases.
The rental growth across prominent main streets in Q2 2024 further underscores their growing appeal. Kolkata, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Mumbai, have all experienced significant year-on-year rental increases, demonstrating strong demand and potential for high street retail in the country:
City Rental Growth across Prominent Main streets
(y-o-y as of Q2-24)
Mumbai MMR 9-10%
Delhi NCR 3-5%
Bengaluru 11-15%
Pune 7-8%
Hyderabad 10-25%
Chennai 5-7%
Kolkata 13-16%
Ahmedabad 7-12%
The report also reveals a notable decline in mall vacancy rates across Delhi NCR, Bengaluru, Pune and Ahmedabad during the second quarter. This trend is attributed to the lack of new mall openings and the robust demand for high-quality retail spaces, thereby contributing to a demand-supply imbalance to some extent. Superior Grade A/A+ category malls (institutional grade or listed developer assets with high experiential quotient), continue to maintain very low vacancy rates (typically in the single digits) across major cities.
City Mall Vacancy (Q2-24) QoQ change
Mumbai MMR 7.6% –
Delhi NCR 15.6% 50 bps drop
Bengaluru 12.6% 60 bps drop
Pune 7.74% 21bps drop
Hyderabad 4.4 % –
Chennai 14.7% 352 bps Surge
Kolkata 6.8% –
Ahmedabad 17.3% 34 bps drop

In terms of supply, while the first half of 2024 saw no new mall supply enter the market, the second half is anticipated to witness a surge in retail space, with an addition of approximately 4.5 million square feet (MSF) of primarily Grade-A malls. Mumbai is anticipated to lead the supply with 1.2 MSF, followed by Chennai at 1.2 MSF, Delhi-NCR at 1.2 MSF and Bengaluru at 0.9 MSF.
The tightness in the superior grade retail real estate space can be also seen in the retail portfolio of NEXUS Select REIT, where occupancies have reached ~98%. The REIT’s stock prices have climbed nearly 30% since its IPO in May 2023, and looking at the under-penetration, it has announced a near doubling of portfolio size over next 5 years.

Saurabh Shatdal, Head Retail and Managing Director, Capital Markets, Cushman & Wakefield, “The second quarter of 2024 was marked by a strong demand for both Grade A malls and high street retail. The growth in both formats underscores the vibrancy of India’s retail landscape. While high street rental growth has seen a notable increase, the upcoming Grade A mall supply of 4.5 MSF may stabilize rental costs in the short to medium term as demand-supply dynamics shift to an extent. However, we anticipate the main street activity to remain healthy. Additionally, the dominance of domestic brands, accounting for 53% of leasing volume, along with the strong performance of fashion and F&B highlight the evolving retail preferences in India.”

– Delhi-NCR’s main streets and malls saw a combined total of 0.51 million square feet (msf) of activity in the second quarter of 2024, almost double the activity from the previous quarter and up 54% from the same time the previous year. This quarter, no new mall supply was recorded. With 0.36 million square feet of main street leasing, primarily from Gurgaon, main streets were the main drivers of activity this quarter. For the current year, we estimate roughly 1.0 million square feet of new mall supply, which should greatly enhance absorption volumes.

– In Mumbai, a total of 132,900 square feet were leased in the second quarter of 2024 at grade-A malls, reflecting a strong leasing activity. Two Mumbai suburban micro-markets will have about 1.2 million square feet of Grade A mall space operating by the end of 2024. Term renewals in the city’s malls were the main cause of this spike. Prominent Mumbai main streets saw consistent lease activity during the quarter, totaling about 71,200 square feet.

– Bengaluru saw 0.16 million square feet of main street leasing in the second quarter of 2024; 0.9 million square feet is anticipated to be added to Grade A mall space overall in 2024. In the second quarter, Bengaluru recorded no new mall supply. Prominent shopping centers like Nexus Shantiniketan in Whitefield, East Bengaluru, and Prestige Falcon City on Kanakapura Mian Road in South Bengaluru both showed signs of a robust demand for space.

– The lease activity in Hyderabad’s retail sector increased significantly in Q2 2024, totaling 0.63 msf, a 29% QOQ rise and a 43% YOY gain. The city’s overall Grade-A mall vacancy rate is currently a healthy 4.4 percent, despite the fact that leasing activity at malls remained mild. Important locations on important roadways have seen a notable boost in recent quarters, even though mall leases are still steady. The average rentals in the city’s main streets have increased by up to 14% year over year but has stayed relatively stable quarter over quarter.

– In Q2 2024, Kolkata saw retail lease volumes of around 63,000 square feet, representing a 61% rise on QoQ basis and a 46% increase on YoY bases. Despite being low in the previous few quarters, leasing across Grade A malls saw a rise in Q2. Malls accounted for 35% of quarterly lease volumes, up from 10% the quarter before.

– About 59,013 square feet were leased at Pune’s Grade-A malls during the second quarter of this year, marking a notable 2x increase in leasing volume when compared on a year-over-year basis. The fashion segment maintained its 30% market share. The number of well-planned main streets in the city is growing as more and more residential units and commercial constructions are added. Strong leasing in Koregaon Park’s high street resulted in a massive 127% gain in rentals. It is projected that the city’s main streets will continue to have range-bound average rental prices.

– The lease volume on Chennai’s main streets increased significantly in the second quarter, hitting 0.10 million square feet. 77% of the lease volume was made up of domestic brands, demonstrating the dominance of local companies in Chennai’s retail market. Suburban South, Northwest, and Southwest were the main suburban routes in the city where the majority of leasing activity was centered. Even while overall mall rental rates were not much different from the previous quarter, certain malls saw small year-over-year increases of up to 4%. On the other hand, rentals for prime retail spaces on main streets noticeably increased.

– In the second quarter of 2024, Ahmedabad had a decent main street lease volume of approximately 61000 square feet, indicating a slight decline of 9% from the previous quarter’s robust results. On a quarterly basis, main street rentals have mostly stayed steady, while year-over-year growth has been between 7-12%. In Q2 2024, leasing activity at Ahmedabad malls was recorded at approximately 10,000 square feet, a 45% decrease from the average of the preceding three quarters. The decline in leasing activity during the quarter might be linked to the restricted availability of premium mall space.

About Cushman & Wakefield
Cushman & Wakefield (NYSE: CWK) is a leading global commercial real estate services firm for property owners and occupiers with approximately 52,000 employees in nearly 400 offices and 60 countries. In 2023, the firm reported revenue of $9.5 billion across its core services of property, facilities and project management, leasing, capital markets, and valuation and other services. It also receives numerous industry and business accolades for its award-winning culture and commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), sustainability and more.

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