On the downside, Cushman & Wakefield of Texas Inc.'sYear-End 2009 Industrial Market & Submarket Statistics Reportnotes that absorption was at 1.8 million square feet during Q4.Still remaining in the pipeline is 626,130 square feet. Thequarter's vacancy stood at 12.5% out of a 508-million-square-footinventory.

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Transwestern's Outlook for Q4 also shows negative absorption atslightly over one million square feet. Vacancy is just over 12%,with approximately 1.2 million square feet under construction andan inventory of close to 702 million square feet.

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"We were hoping it would be slightly positive. We haven't had anegative net absorption in quite some time and we were disheartenedto see the year at a negative," Jean Russo, senior director withCushman & Wakefield of Texas Inc. tells GlobeSt.com.

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On the other side of the coin is CB Richard Ellis' MarketView.In this report, absorption stood at a little more than 433,000square feet, with the inventory reported at 714 million squarefeet. The vacancy rate was 11.3% and 3.1 million square feet areunder construction. CB Richard Ellis First Vice President SteveBerger tells GlobeSt.com that the results were not surprising."We'd been feeling as though activity had turned positive later inthe year," he comments. "While the absorption is a small number, itdoes show examples of some growth."

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Certainly, the differences in the absorption figures can bepinned to different tracking methods used by each company. However,one thing on which all the reports -- and brokers – agree is thatdwindling product in the pipeline should help increase absorptionand decrease vacancies in 2010.

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Berger points out vacancies have been pushing upward throughoutthe market, due to construction deliveries during the past twoyears. Russo agrees, suggesting that the good thing aboutindustrial product construction is it's relatively easy to turn offthe spigot once the marketplace gets saturated. There was recordconstruction in 2008, she points out, with some of that fallinginto completion in 2009. "When you have only 626,000 square feetunder construction," she adds, "that's significant."

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The result, both brokers note, will be positive net absorptionat this time next year. . "Looking into 2010, with constructionsubstantially less than in the past, so long as absorption remainspositive, we'll see a stable or declining vacancy rate," Bergernotes.

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Russo believes that real changes, such as declining vacancyrates, will start occuring during the second half of 2010, so longas construction remains cut off, though cautions that somesubmarkets are trailing behind others and might be slower torecover. Irving and Coppell, just west of Dallas, have the highestamount of construction, and could struggle to see positive netabsorption, she adds.

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