As the economy improves, retailers are spending more money,generating improved sales for retailers. This has helped spur anincrease of interest in the retail real estate sector by investors,and transactions are starting to take place again. For goodproperties in well-located areas, competition is getting verystrong. Gary Goodman, vice president ofacquisitions at PasscoCos., talked to us about this newreality. How much more competition are youseeing to buy shopping centers?

Gary Goodman: The competition hasincreased pretty dramatically in the last 12 months. With theeconomy continuing to improve and job growth beginning to gaintraction, combined with retailers starting to report improvedsales, it seems that we've passed reaching the bottom. It doesn'tlook like it's going to get any worse. Everybody likes to buy whenthe market is the lowest and it seems as if it's at that point. Andif we're beyond that, the market will begin attracting a lot moreattention.

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