Retail Store Vacancy in the GTA: 2007 to 2012
By Dr. Tony Hernandez and Tansel Erguden
Retail vacancy is widely regarded as a key measure of the vitality of a shopping venue from a property, asset management and consumer perspective. This research letter presents data on retail store vacancy between 2005 and 2009 within the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), Canada’s largest urban region. Such analysis is made possible through the CSCA’s annual field collection of retail data within the GTA. This comprehensive data set allows comparison of vacancy rates amongst different shopping centre types (malls, strips, power centres) over space and time. Building on earlier CSCA research in the late 1990s, data reported in this research letter reveals a general increase in vacancy rates between 2005 and 2009, albeit with significant variation across the GTA. The major super-regional and regional malls, along with power centres, have collectively maintained the lowest levels of vacancy, with smaller malls and retail strips generally carrying markedly higher rates. However, across all shopping centre types the vacancy rate has increased.
The authors would like to acknowledge industry colleagues who provided their perspective on vacancy rate metrics. They will remain anonymous in order to maintain confidentiality.