The solid growth last year in Greater Houston’s retail real estate market bucks the trend for other commercial properties that felt the impact from the oil downturn.
While office space had many vacancies, shopping centers are filled.
“And what it really kind of boils down to are these different master-planned communities and the grocery-anchored shopping centers that you’re seeing popping up all throughout these different centers throughout Houston,” said Elizabeth Clampitt, a vice president with real estate services firm JLL.
She said the reason why the region’s 100-plus master-planned communities are such a driver for retail development is that they bring together many people of similar demographics – and with similar needs.
“You’ve got a ton of homes, typically with a good income that all need a place to eat, shop, play and live,” she said. “And they all focus together in these master-planned communities.”
Those communities have helped the retail market for a while, Clampitt said, but their impact was especially pronounced in 2016.
That year experienced slow job growth – an indication of a weak economy – but record home sales boosted master-planned communities.