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Shop vacancy rate remains at five-year low

The shop vacancy rate in October was 12.9% in October, remaining at its lowest level since April 2010.

The town vacancy rate fell by 0.1% in October to 11% compared with the previous month, Local Data Company statistics show.

In most regions there was no change in the past month. The exceptions were Wales, which was down 0.1%, West Midlands (-0.2%), Yorkshire and the Humber (-0.1%) and the Northwest (-0.1%). The only in which there was an increase was Greater London, up by 0.1%.

The shopping centre vacancy rate fell by 0.2% to 14.3% in October compared with the previous month, while retail parks fell by 0.1%.

“Positive news and stability is what we are seeing in the national vacancy rate,” said Matthew Hopkinson, director at The Local Data Company. “What is promising is seeing some of the regions, notably the Northwest and NorthEast, with improved rates. Shopping centres have also shown a notable improvement, which is a reflection of increased investment overall and their diversification into food and beverage, as well as entertainment.

“One area to watch is Greater London, whose vacancy rate increased, which is likely to continue due to increased competition between locations as a result of improved travel infrastructure.”


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