Commercial real estate strong but ‘decelerating’

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The Commercial Leading Indicator for Brokerage Activity, a forward-looking index for the commercial real estate market, rose slightly in the first quarter to the highest level on record but the rate of growth has decelerated over the past year, according to the National Association of Realtors. The Commercial Leading Indicator for Brokerage Activity increased 0.2 percent to an index of 120.3 in the first quarter from a reading of 120.1 in the fourth quarter, and is 0.8 percent higher than the first quarter of 2006 when it stood at 119.3. NAR's track of the index dates back to 1990. Lawrence Yun, NAR senior economist, in a statement said the index has risen for eight consecutive quarters but factors in its components are mixed. "Rising industrial production, a rise in the REIT price index, growth in commercial jobs, rising income and gains in wholesale sales contributed to the rise in our leading indicator," he said. "On the other hand, deteriorating economic conditions hav...