Victoria accounted for nearly half of national retail property investment in the second quarter of this year, a CBRE report says.
The state was the centre of activity as a shift in consumer spending towards food retailing underpinned higher investment levels in neighbourhood shopping centres, CBRE's Australia MarketView said.
The activity defies the prolonged consumer downturn and difficult conditions for shop owners and other retailers. It shows that while Victoria's retail sales figures in the 12 months to June 2013 were below the national average - recording no growth over the period - property supply levels and rents continued to trend upwards.
Construction activity was dominated by neighbourhood centre developments, with 84,000 square metres of additional space likely to be added by the end of the year.
Over the year to June, metropolitan regional rents lifted to sit between $1385 per square metre and $2615 per square metre, CBRE retail researcher Tammy Smith said.
Neighbourhood centres have benefited from the large food-based tenant mix to record a 3.1 per cent increase in rents annually, Ms Smith said.
In sub-regional centres where there was a large discretionary spend, rents fell 4.1 per cent to sit between $598 per square metre and $1317 per square metre during the same period, the report found.
Retail rents in Melbourne's central business district remained stable.