Overall asking rents for trophy space has increased 6.6% overthe past 12 months to $55.98 per sf, triple net. Direct vacancyrates in this top tier asset class is 1.4%, compared with thebroader market's 7.7% vacancy rate.

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Other positive metrics for trophy space cited in the reportinclude a sublet vacancy--one of the first indicators of stress inthe market--that fell from 1.1% to 0.9% over the past six month anda large number of pre-leases signed by law firms and corporategovernment affairs groups for projects under construction. Atmidyear, an additional three million sf of trophy product was underconstruction in 11 buildings scheduled to deliver between 2008 and2012.

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The trophy market's good performance, while limited to a verysmall subset of the DC market, still provides an indicator of whatinvestors find appealing about the city, SVP Amy L. Bowser tellsGlobeSt.com. More directly, this growth underlines DC's roles as aglobal gateway city. International companies that come here, shesays, are looking for the best possible space. Furthermore,"stacked up against other capitol cities like London, for instance,DC real estate is a relative bargain." In price per sf, DC ranksfar lower than most of the top world cities, she says.

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The growing number of Gold and Platinum LEED certifiedbuildings--which tend to be trophy buildings, but not always--isalso fueling demand for premium space among firms that might nothave considered it before, Tonya Ginter, director of Research &Marketing for GVA Advantis, tells GlobeSt.com. "Law firms willalways pay top dollar for good space, but the introduction of greenbuildings into our office supply is giving some tenants a reason topay more for top space."

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