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U.S. strip mall vacancies decline in second quarter - Reis

July 2 (Reuters) - U.S. strip mall vacancies fell slightly in the second quarter, while retail mall vacancies remained unchanged, real estate research firm Reis Inc said in a report.

The national vacancy rate for strip malls was 10.3 percent, down from 10.4 percent in the first quarter and 10.5 percent in the second quarter of 2013.

Retail mall vacancies were unchanged at 7.9 percent.

Asking and effective rents both rose 0.5 percent in the second quarter, but rent growth remained below that seen in mid-2007, before the onset of recession.

"At 10.3 percent, the national vacancy rate remains far too elevated to be conducive to faster rent growth, which continues to lag inflation," Ryan Severino, senior economist and associate director of research at Reis, said in a statement.

Reis, however, noted that rent growth exceeded inflation rate in an increasing number of markets.

Apart from markets with affluent households, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale and Las Vegas benefited from a rebound in hotel occupancy rates, Reis said.

As expected, construction of shopping center space rebounded to 1.08 million square feet from 988,000 square feet in the first quarter, when severe winter weather hurt construction.

(Reporting by Mridhula Raghavan in Bangalore; Editing by Kirti Pandey)