Seattle-Tacoma Retail Market Report
Seattle-Tacoma Retail Weathers the Downturn and Holds the Attention of Investors
Mild pandemic impact to Puget Sound retail. As the metro is one of the nation’s stronger and rapidly expanding economies, Seattle’s retail demand drivers have been exceptionally robust in recent years, placing property metrics on stable ground entering the pandemic. Demand for retail space quickly softened last year and businesses were challenged to survive as health restrictions set in and indoor gatherings were limited. Property fundamentals held onto a strong position, though, with vacancy remaining tight and stable year-over-year rent gains. An eviction moratorium that applies to small businesses in the city of Seattle remains in place through June, which could lead to an increase in vacancies and lower rents in the second half of the year. At the same time, the Puget Sound’s retail recovery is being supported as restrictions ease and the vaccine becomes more widely distributed, releasing pent-up demand for shopping, dining out and entertainment.