Seattle ranks third in the nation in forecast retail investment for 2012, according to a new report by the real estate research firm Marcus & Millichap .
Encino, Calif.-based Marcus & Millichap cited strong growth in the Puget Sound area’s tech sector — notably by online retailer Amazon.com — as a factor in improving store traffic and earnings for downtown retailers.
Seattle jumped seven spots from No. 10 in the firm’s rankings, based on retail sales and employment projections.
Marcus & Millichap anticipates the Puget Sound area will gain 52,000 workers this year, compared to a gain of 44,000 workers last year, with area payrolls increasing 3.1 percent. Meanwhile retail vacancies will fall to 5.8 percent, with a 1 percent rise in asking rents to $21.54 a square foot and a 1.6 percent increase in effective rents to $18.93 per square foot. New construction will add another 360,000 square feet of retail space to the market.
Marcus & Millichap predicts that low interest rates and attractive net operating income will create a large pool of investors for top single tenant retail properties. Well-located strip shopping centers with a stable roster of tenants will also attract buyers.