An increase in tenant activity was witnessed in Q3 2013 as long-standing growth plans of several domestic and international retailers were finally acted upon. Despite the cautious outlook for the retail sector, several international chains have announced further expansion plans such as Cinepolis, a multiplex operator, which intends to operate 400 screens in India by 2016; while Starbucks has plans to open 100 outlets by end of next year.
About 1.59 million sq ft of new supply was added to the national stock in Q3 2013. Total Grade A retail stock now stands at 64.03 million sq ft, an increase of 2% in Q3 compared to the previous quarter. As of Q3 there is a proposed supply pipeline of 21 million sq ft scheduled for completion over the next three years. However, in the wake of underperforming economic conditions, several developers continue to re-evaluate the scheduled timelines of their projects.
The cumulative vacancy level of the seven cities remained flat at 12.8% in Q3. Delhi and Pune continued to witness high vacancy levels, while the comparatively large amount of new supply in Kolkata saw vacancy levels increase sharply to 16.7% in this market. The rise in vacancy in these cities was offset by tightening in Mumbai and Bengaluru.
With the rise in demand in Q3, average rental values in prime malls across the seven cities increased by 1.2%. Due to low vacancy levels in preferred malls, retailers are now choosing high-street locations to enact their immediate expansion plans, thereby increasing average high street rents by 1% to 2% over the quarter.
To curb the falling rupee values against US dollar, the government recently relaxed the FDI norms in retail sector. For example, International retailers can now set up outlets in cities with a population of less than one million. However, as yet, these changes have not noticeably impacted on the retail sector.
Source : DTZ (Groupe UGL)