EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ-With interest rates still at historic lowsand the stock market still uncertain, investment in suburban NewYork real estate is coming back, according to Andrew Merin, vicechairman of Cushman & Wakefield’s Metropolitan Area CapitalMarkets Group.

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New Jersey is particularly active, with office sales volumepossibly doubling 2009 figures, and industrial sales also exceedinglast year’s activity, the company reports. “Investment sales havecome out of hibernation,” Merin tells GlobeSt.com.

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Pension funds are once again looking to invest, a reversal of2009 trends. Foreign buyers from Israel, the rest of the MiddleEast and German have returned to the market, seeking alternateinvestments to the shaky equity market. Even China is beginning toeducate itself about the market. “America is favorably viewed now,”compared with Europe, Merin says. “If you look at Spain, Portugalor Greece, people are scared.”

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The sales volume of Northern New Jersey office propertiesalready has totaled 28 transactions for a total of $1.5 billion,and could more than double 2009 figures by year-end. Industrialsales in the entire state also are on track to exceed 2009levels.

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Throughout the Tri-State area, multifamily is the most popularsector, with investors looking for quality, Merin notes. However,the possibility of too much supply on the market looms. Office andindustrial property sales are still trying to gain statisticalmomentum, though core properties with leases are trading.

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Retail, however, has seen few offerings, and those few on themarket have been in secondary markets or are B-level quality.However, Merin remains “bullish” on retail, he says. “It was thefirst sector to go out of favor,” he notes. “But now some retailersare using [vacancy] to go into markets they couldn’t before. PCRichard, for example, is taking stores that went under. We areseeing a bounce.”

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The company’s transaction volume should nearly double lastyear’s production, reaching nearly $1.2 billion by the end of 2010,Merin reports. Seventeen deals were completed through Septemberversus 20 transactions for all of 2009. “We are by no means out of[danger],” Merin says, but he does see a return to a more vitalmarket comparable to 2002 to 2004 levels.

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