In the light of COVID-19, most retailers become more conservative in expansion plans. Some will close their stores temporarily to get their finances back in shape. Developers might be willing to give a rent-free period, which will be paid back by the retailers later.
New shopping centre projects entering the market might struggle to lease out their space, rents will most likely be under pressure. However, several new and existing malls will still quote high asking rents, but would provide competitive discounts to encourage committed tenants.
Real estate parties including landlords, retailers, banks and other stakeholders should discuss amongst themselves to try to look for a joint solution of the problem. Large retailers should also be flexible towards landlords by respecting their lease commitments, in order not to aggravate the current condition.