Investment forecasts for the single-tenant net lease sector look strong going forward. As household demand for necessities in retail continues to be robust and retail sales data demonstrates that consumers are spending heavily in areas like grocery, personal care, and wellness products.
In a recent study by leading industry professionals, analysts observed that this behavior has the potential to produce record monthly sales totals across various necessity-based categories throughout the year. These projected record sales will have favorable implications for a single-tenant market which is already on a strong foundation to do fare well.
After an eight-quarter period during which tenants absorbed more than 100 million square feet, availability in the STNL sector was historically limited as 2023 got underway. According to researchers, discount restaurants, grocery stores, and medicine stores all have seen extensive demand. Reports state that “restrained development indicates single-tenant availability may hold firm or compress over the near term if additional vendors grow their businesses and backfill available space,” but the approximately 8.8 million square feet of single-tenant space that was under construction at the beginning of 2023 amounted to just 0.1 percent of the existing stock.
All of this is encouraging for investors since it shows that net-lease retail ownership is stable according to basic spending measures. Sales prices for average STNL properties have increased by about 16% over the last five years, and high-credit tenants and buildings with long-term leases in place continue to be investor favorites. According to Marcus & Millichap analysts, “buyers seeking long-term cash flow and less management-intensive properties may capitalize on high pricing in other sectors and move equity into single-tenant assets with high-credit tenants.”