San Diego placed fifth in the latest annual report by commercial real estate services provider Marcus & Millichap Inc., ranking the nation’s strongest retail property markets.

San Diego moved up one spot from its sixth-place ranking in the company’s 2014 National Retail Index report, rating the nation’s 46 largest retail markets.

Intended as a guide for nationwide retail property investors, company officials said the rankings are based on supply-and-demand factors including forecast employment growth, property vacancy, construction and rents.

Marcus & Millichap researchers said San Diego County’s retail vacancy is expected to retreat below the pre-recession level this year, finishing 2015 at 3.6 percent. The average asking rent is forecast to rise 4.4 percent, to $23.52 per square foot by year’s end, as development activity brings 350,000 square feet of new space online.

The top four metro markets in the latest rankings were San Francisco, New York City, San Jose and Austin, Texas.