Better days ahead for commercial real estate

Improving labor market means fewer vacancies

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Growth in the U.S. economy and a rise in exports will raise demand for commercial real estate space over the next two years, with increases in various commercial sectors already seen this year, according to the National Association of Realtors Commercial Real Estate Quarterly. David Lereah, NAR's chief economist, said the commercial real estate market is responding to improvements in the overall economy. "New jobs are filling office and industrial space, and vacancies will generally decline in the commercial real estate market," he said. "A silver lining to the recent slide of the U.S. dollar on foreign currency markets is an expected boost to U.S. exports that could also stimulate foreign purchase of U.S. commercial property." Lereah said changing currency values have numerous effects. "On one hand, the higher cost of foreign products will rein in some consumer spending. On the other, rising exports will help the economy to grow in 2005, which will create new jobs," he said. Lereah...