The first quarter of 2014 showed continued improvement in nearly every market category, verifying that the retail market is building on the strength of 2013. Retail rents progressed and rose almost a percentage and a half from the end of 2013, averaging $14.09 throughout the first quarter of 2014, up from $13.91 at the end of 2013. Construction statistics also continued to make significant gains, which indicates that the demand for space is there, which should also help retail rates continue to rise.
The market continues to gain in transactions in all submarkets. Overall sales and lease numbers continued to grow, and the amount of overall transactions in the retail market were a direct reflection of that. We saw a first quarter trend of move-in leases of numerous spaces of 140,000 SF and over, and saw nearly 30% of the sales transactions gather $150 per square foot. The improving supply of quality retail space, coupled with Phoenix’s progressing economy, continue to drive lease rates upward.