Forecast healthy for commercial real estate

Demand for office, industrial space to rise in '07

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The Commercial Leading Indicator for Brokerage Activity, a leading indicator for the commercial real estate market, has increased for six consecutive quarters, the National Association of Realtors reported today, showing that continued growth can be expected in commercial real estate sectors. In the third quarter, the indicator rose 0.4 percent to a reading of 120.1 from an index of 119.6 in the second quarter, and is 2.9 percent higher than the third quarter of 2005 when it stood at 116.7. David Lereah, NAR's chief economist, said the index is at the highest level in the series of the indicator, which goes back to 1990. "Although we have a strong uptrend in the commercial sectors, the rise in the index over the last two quarters shows a lower rate of expansion in comparison with late 2005 and early 2006," Lereah said. "This means that commercial sectors will continue to grow, but at a more modest pace." Growth in the index means net absorption of space in the industrial and office...