Among its findings are that both sales and leasing velocityrose, closing out 2009 with a strong finish, totaling 7.1 millionsquare feet, despite the fact that large blocks of space have madetheir entrance onto the market, leaving the availability rate at astatic 11.7%.

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"Sales and leasing velocity both increased dramatically, meaningthat companies out there are looking to take advantage of themarket and make deals before it is too late," says William Waxman,senior vice president at CB Richard Ellis. "Leasing activityincreased by almost 18%, and sales were 33% higher than in the twoprevious quarters combined," he continues.

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Availability does remain high, but the fact that it has notincreased, even as large blocks enter the market, serves as anindicator that the market is stabilizing, Waxman tells GlobeSt.com."Buyers are taking advantage of competitive asking prices, andleasing deals are happening now that landlords have dipped theirrates to a level more palatable to prospective tenants. Takingrents, however, are still lower than asking rates, so while dealsare getting done, there is still room for the pace to accelerate aslandlords' hopes inch closer to the rates tenants are willing topay."

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Leasing velocity led the way, indicating that landlords arecontinuing to align asking rates with market reality and thatoccupiers are responding positively. Average asking lease ratesdeclined by 10% from the previous quarter, to $5.55 per squarefoot, a rate not seen since the first quarter of 2003, the reportfinds.

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That rate was also $0.55 lower than a year ago, yielding 4.37million square feet of leasing activity during the fourth quarterof 2009, an increase of almost 18% over adjusted third-quartervelocity.Central New Jersey experienced the second straight quarterof $0.19 declines in asking rates, settling at $4.85 per squarefoot.

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At the close of the fourth quarter, the sales activity tallyreached 2.73 million square feet, 33% stronger than the previoustwo quarters combined. The increase in transaction momentum arrivedduring the fourth consecutive quarter of declines in askingprices.

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The current average, $69.89 per square foot, is 13% lower thanat the beginning of 2009 and 16% below the peak of $82.97 persquare foot, reached in the fourth quarter of 2007. The pace ofchange has also quickened, as the average asking price declined by$1.88 during the third quarter and then accelerated to $3.22 in thefourth quarter.

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"Momentum is with the New Jersey industrial market, but unlessthe pace of properties coming to market slows, availability rateswill not likely return to pre-recession numbers soon," MindyLissner, senior vice president for CBRE, tells GlobeSt.com. "Oneboon is that construction projects remain in check, giving theexisting inventory an opportunity to balance itself without facingcompetition from new properties. Ultimately, we believe that theNew Jersey industrial market just may have reached its bottom andis on its way upward again over the next 12 to 24 months."

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The state's top fourth-quarter transactions include two fromSouth Brunswick--a 583,376-square-foot lease at 140 Docks CornerRd. to G-III Apparel Group and the 418,213-square-foot sale of329-331 Herrod Blvd. to Cabot Properties--and two in Edison--the473,083 square-foot sale of 30 Clearview Rd. to Arizona Iced Teaand a 232,297-square-foot lease at 3001 Woodbridge Ave. to AshleyFurniture Industries. Rounding out the top five is a375,000-square-foot lease at 1 Costco Way in Monroe to L.A.Enterprises.

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