London remains a “shining beacon” amongst the gloomy performance in the UK retail market according to property firm Colliers International.
The property firm’s latest central London Retail Health Check showed that vacant space in the capital had fallen for the fourth consecutive six month period.
Vacant units at a sample 10 central London locations was down to 1.9% from 3.5% in January, and vacant floorspace was down to 0.9% from 2%.
The wider UK market has a vacancy rate seven times higher than the capital at 13.3%.
The average size of a central London vacant unit is at its lowest level in four and a half years at 1,462sq ft in July, down from the peak of 2,748 sq ft in three years previously.
Cheapside had the highest vacancy rate across the 10 sample sites with 5.7% of units and 3.6% of floorspace empty, but vacant space had fallen dramatically on the shopping street since One New Change opened and are now a third of what they were a year ago.
The property firm said the capital was bucking the trend in terms of sales growth too, with like-for-likes for retail in London up 11.3% in June and 6.8% in July.
Colliers International associate director, research and forecasting Sarah Banfield said: “The capital’s strength is that, despite what’s going on in the domestic economy, its international appeal as a top shopping destination ensures that visitor numbers remain high and sales values continue to grow, thanks, in part, to high-spending shoppers from the Middle East and China.”