Vacancy rates for income-producing properties, an indicator of future demand for construction, rose in the second quarter. According to recent data from New York-based real estate research company Reis Inc., the average lease rate at shopping centers (defined as open-air centers and big box centers as opposed to enclosed malls) in the top 77 U.S. markets declined in the April-June period for the fifth consecutive quarter.

In the 29 years it has tracked the figures, Reis analysts say they have never seen a stretch of declines that long. Citing another Reis survey, “Office rents fell 2.7% in the second quarter from a year earlier, the largest single-quarter decline since the first quarter of 2002….Meanwhile, the office vacancy rate rose to 15.9%, up from 15.2% in the previous quarter.” According to a third Reis survey, the vacancy rate for U.S. apartments hit a 22-year high in the second quarter, and vacancy rates nationally rose to 7.5% in the April-June period, up from 6.1% a year earlier.