The recovery of the retail commercial property market is occurring faster in the south than in the north, according to new research.

A study from the British Property Federation has revealed retail centres in London and the south-east have been more resilient to the economic crisis, while vacancy rates at their counterparts further up the country are much higher.

According to the study, a list of the 25 large-sized centres with the highest proportion of empty retail business properties contains only three southern locations - Watford, Bristol and Reading - while Blackpool tops the list with 28.93 per cent of its shops remaining unused.

"It is encouraging to see high streets recovering in the south, but that glimmer of positive news does not hide the fact that retail markets elsewhere are struggling, and that consumer confidence is still fragile," commented Liz Pearce, chief executive of the British Property Federation.

Recent statistics from The Local Data Company revealed two-fifths of the commercial properties made available when Woolworths went into administration are still vacant.

Posted by Darren Purse ADNFCR-2842-ID-800059111-ADNFCR