Shoppers walk through a nearly empty Palisades Center Mall retail center in West Nyack, New York, February 3, 2021.
Mike Segar | Reuters
If you noticed more darkened windows and empty stores at the mall recently, you’re not alone.
The vacancy rate for regional malls in the United States hit a record 11.4% in the first quarter of 2021 from 10.5% in the fourth quarter of 2020, according to Moody’s Analytics’ commercial real estate division.
The 90 basis-points increase marked the highest the firm has ever seen, surpassing the record 80 basis-point spike in the first quarter of 2009, in the thick of the Great Recession.
“Malls are absolutely still on the ropes,” said Victor Calanog, lead of…