Retail rents fall at faster clip of 5.2% in Q4 but vacancy eases to 8.8%

RENTALS of retail space in Singapore's central region decreased by 5.2 per cent in the fourth quarter of last year over the previous three months.

This is a bigger pace of decline compared with the 4.5 per cent drop in the previous quarter, according to figures from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) released on Friday.

For the whole of 2020, rentals of retail space declined by 14.7 per cent, contrasting with the increase of 2.9 per cent  in 2019.

URA’s fourth-quarter data also showed that prices of retail space in the central region decreased by 2.1 per cent, reversing the increase of 2.2 per cent in the previous quarter.

For the whole of 2020, prices of retail space shrank 4.5 per cent, against an increase of 1.3 per cent in 2019.

Islandwide, as at the end of Q4 2020, there was a total supply of 426,000 square metres (sq m) gross floor area of retail space from projects in the pipeline, slightly lower than the 428,000 sq m in the previous quarter.

The amount of occupied retail space rose by 24,000 sq m of net lettable area (NLA) in Q4 2020, compared with the decrease of 50,000 sq m NLA in the previous quarter.

The stock of retail space fell by 26,000 sq m NLA in Q4 2020, after shrinking by 53,000 sq m in the previous quarter.

As a result, the islandwide vacancy rate of retail space declined to 8.8 per cent as at the end of Q4 2020, from 9.6 per cent as at end-Q3 2020.