HOUSTON (Colliers International) – The housing downturn, ongoing credit crisis and low consumer spending are taking their toll on H-Town’s retail market, according to the second-quarter 2009 market report from Colliers International.

Houston’s retail occupancy for all product types combined stood at 89.5 percent in second quarter 2009, down from 90.4 percent at this time last year.

Three key shopping center categories — strip, neighborhood and community centers — recorded lower occupancy at 86.1 percent, 86.8 percent and 87 percent, respectively.

Houston’s overall retail rental rate remained stable at $15.81 per sf triple net in the second quarter, even though key product types posted significant year-over-year decreases.

Weak demand for Houston’s retail market was reflected in the negative net absorption of 197,810 sf recorded in the second quarter, significantly below the 1.6 million sf of positive net absorption posted in the second quarter last year. However, healthy gains in first quarter 2009 pushed the year-to-date total to positive net of 585,109 sf citywide.

Retail leasing activity reached 1.1 million sf in the second quarter, significantly below the 2.5 million sf recorded in the same quarter last year.