COLORADO SPRINGS, CO-Investment property sales in this city, the second largestin Colorado, enjoyed an average of $500 million in sales each year between 1997 and 2000. But this year, the total will be about half of that, coming in at only $250 million, shows a report and forecast by Grubb & Ellis.

The downturn wasn’t so much a demand problem, or even problems with the economy, as it was a lack of improved properties available, the report notes.

“Declining property sales are only partially attributable to a slowing national economy and downturn in the high-technology sector,” Grubb & Ellis reports. “The lack of available product for sale in 2001 was the major factor behind the decline in improved property sales.”

The outlook for 2002 is grimmer.

“Growing vacancies, flat rents and higher cap rates will have negative effect on the value of investment property in 2002,” the report warns. “However, owners are likely to be more eager to sell commercial properties than they have been during 2001, which drives the forecast for slightly higher improved property sales in 2002.”

Grubb & Ellis says offices, industrial and apartment communities are expected to show gains in sales volume next year, while retail property sales should post a slight decline.

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