A buoyant Hawke's Bay economy and increased spending has produced a 13 per cent retail occupancy improvement across the region, according to the Turley & Co Retail Accommodation Occupancy Survey.
The independent property strategists' report of key retail precincts says overall main-street occupancy, for the quarter to the end of April, improved 13 per cent on the previous quarter.
Hawke's Bay retail spending growth topped the nation for the three months from December and was second in March, according to Paymark figures.
In Hastings there were two fewer retail vacancies. The pedestrian-only area of Heretaunga St now has one vacancy. The three vacancies recorded in the previous quarter are now occupied.
Despite the lift, Napier landlords are missing out with no change in the number of vacancies. Dickens St continued to "under-perform" with seven empty spaces recorded.
The Clearance Warehouse is due to open this week in the Mid-City plaza which would absorb a large vacant area in central Napier outside the main-street survey area.
Napier Inner City Marketing manager Zoe Barnes said Napier retail was "tight", with the majority of areas full and development reflecting confidence in the future of CBD retail.
"There is a lot of development going on which has taken out retail stores, so that makes the rest of town tight but also shows there is definitely room to grow - people are seeing value in spending money in Napier," she said.
"Occupancy is probably as high as it has been for quite some time. Everybody is really positive - things are happening in Napier - it is a really good time to be in town."
The report said Taradale's main shopping precinct of Gloucester St had one less vacancy than the survey's previous quarter with five vacancies recorded, a medium-term average.
Hastings suburb Havelock North has seen supply increase by seven new shops thanks to The Exchange development - three now occupied - with seven vacancies overall for the Hastings suburb.
Last month Logan Stone director Frank Spencer said hospitality and non-retail operations were replacing traditional stores within all the region's key CBDs.
"Hospitality accounts for about a quarter of Havelock North and Taradale central premises, with further development in Havelock North to come," he said.