Area brokers tell the numbers were expected, andwill probably get worse before things bottom out. "Everyoneexpected the market to soften and vacancies rise throughout theyear," comments Rick Murphy, senior vice president with CB RichardEllis' Phoenix office.

"Unfortunately, I think vacancies will continue to creep upwardin 2009. We could see double digit vacancy rates this year andthat'll be the first time in a long time," adds SRS Real EstatePartners' vice president Ed Beeh, who is with the company's Phoenixoffice.

But not all areas are being quite so hard. Outlying areas suchas northwest Phoenix and Paradise Valley are seeing vacancies of13.5% and 12.4% respectively. But this compares to Scottsdale,which reported a 5% and Apache Junction, which is just brushing7%.

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