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Retail rents down 1.2% in Q4, culminating in 5.9% full-year drop: DTZ

AVERAGE island-wide first-storey retail rentals have fallen by 1.2 per cent in Q4 2015, compared to the last quarter, to about S$30.50 per square foot (psf), DTZ data showed on Wednesday.

This is the third consecutive decline since Q2 2015.

For the whole of 2015, average first-storey rents fell at a faster pace of 5.9 per cent, compared to the slower decline of 0.3 per cent in 2014.

"Much of the decline in 2015 was attributed to weakened consumer sentiments amid uncertain global economic conditions," DTZ noted.

Among the various regions, rents in Orchard/Scotts Road were the most resilient. Average first-storey rents in Orchard/Scotts Road saw a gentler decline compared to the other regions, falling by one per cent quarter-on-quarter (q-o-q) and 5 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) to S$38.05 psf in Q4 2015.

They were supported by the lack of new completions in the next four years. Only pockets of new retail spaces will be added via renovations and other mixed-use projects, it said.

Average first-storey rents in the suburban areas were also quite resilient, dipping by 1.2 per cent q-o-q and 5.7 per cent y-o-y to S$30.70 psf in the same period.

In contrast, average first-storey rents in the other city areas registered a greater decline of 1.4 per cent q-o-q and 6.9 per cent y-o-y to about S$21.80 psf in Q4. This was largely due to the area's dependence on the weekday office crowd for sales volume, DTZ added.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority is expected to release full fourth-quarter price and rental data for retail space on Jan 22, 2016.