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HOUSTON-Despite the obvious economic doldrums, the retails sales market has remained strong this year, according to the latest report of Marcus & Millichap’s Houston office.

“High vacancy rates have not deterred investors,” regional manager Michael Hoffman said in a prepared statement. “Revitalization and repositioning of older infill properties continues to offer attractive returns.” He attributes the brisk sales activity to affordable financing, a limited supply of for-sale properties and Houston’s relatively low sales prices when compared to the rest of the country.

Hoffman tells GlobeSt.com that Marcus & Millichap’s volume and research show the city is poised to surpass 2001 in sales. In the just-released report, the researchers highlighted 24 of the firm’s sales, which had selling prices ranging from $37 per sf to $321 per sf. The state’s non-disclosure legislation makes it difficult, if not impossible, to calculate the sales velocity’s full thrust. The report claims sales have pushed down the average price per sf in class B and class C properties to $75 per sf from the $83 per sf recorded in 2001.

The report also concludes the highly publicized expansions of the Galleria and Memorial City malls are tied to a growing trend in the US as many aging infill properties respond to increased competition from newer malls. The Woodlands mall also can be counted in that mix since it recently announced plans for a 175,000-sf expansion.

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