More than half of commercial Realtors® reported that more businesses opened in their area in March, according to NAR’s Business Creation Index for March.
This was an increase of 15 percent from November. While 34 percent of commercial agents reported that they had not seen an increase in new businesses launching in March, this is the lowest percent since the survey began.
Retail businesses were the most common addition of new businesses, according to the survey. Fifty-nine percent of Realtors® said they saw retail stores opening, followed by food and beverage at 56 percent and health, medical or dental with 38 percent. Area-wise, the East South Central saw the most new businesses open, according to 63 percent of agents, followed by the Middle Atlantic, which includes Pennsylvania, at 57 percent and the South Atlantic and West North Atlantic, both at 56 percent.
More than one-half (52 percent) of agents said they saw more businesses opening than closing, a decrease of 3 percent from February, but an increase year-to-year. Twenty-nine percent reported that the ratio of businesses opening and closing is the same, an increase of 3 percent from February.
On the other end of the spectrum, 65 percent of agents said they had not noticed more businesses closing, a decrease of 8 percent from December. Nearly one-quarter reported that more businesses closed in March, an increase of 7 percent since December.
Retail shops were the most likely to close, according to the report. Thirty percent of agents reported that retail shops were the ones that closed, followed by 21 percent who said food or beverage and both office and real estate, said 8 percent.
The Mountain region was the most likely to report businesses closing (29 percent), followed by the Middle Atlantic, the East North Central and New England, who all hit 25 percent.