Retail sales increased by 3.7% y-o-y to NT$629 billion in the first two months of Q2 2019, rebounding from the 0.5% y-o-y dip recorded in Q1 2019. Core retail sales excluding automobiles and gasoline rose by 3.3% y-o-y over the same period, suggesting that month-long promotional campaigns launched by retailers for Mother’s Day succeeded in enticing consumers.

Vacancy levels along Zhongxiao East Road fell during the quarter as several landlords cut rents significantly to attract tenants. This attracted some retailers willing to take up vacant spaces at discounted rents. Elsewhere, retail space in Ximenting remained keenly sought after, with rents for selected shops reaching new highs. This mixed overall performance meant average retail rents in Taipei fell by 1.01% q-o-q in Q2 2019.

Average high street rents are forecast to weaken further over the next two quarters in view of the sharp decline in rents recorded for recent leases signed in the Zhongxiao East Road area.