CHICAGO-US annual real estate investment volume hit a record high of $375 billion in 2007, but experts say not to expect a repeat for 2008. The volume for 2008 is expected to decrease to 40% from 2007 numbers, according to the 2007 year-end report by Jones Lang LaSalle’s capital markets research group. Jones Lang LaSalle is predicting investment volume of between $225 billion and $260 billion for this year.

The volume of transactions in 2007 was a 4% increase over the volume in 2006, which was approximately $360 billion. While 2008 figures are expected to be below 2006 and 2007 numbers, 2008 volume is still expected to be more than the average annual volumes of 2002 through 2006, which ranged from $215 billion to $220 billion, says Noble Carpenter, managing director of Jones Lang LaSalle’s Capital Markets Group. The volume will seem “sluggish” but “it is still a very healthy transaction pace,” he says.

The decrease in transaction volume for 2008 is due to “primarily the credit crunch and the uncertainty around the economy,” Carpenter says. “We think there will be a lot of caution in the market.”

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