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NEW YORK CITY-The on-again, off-again economic recovery is putting the brakes on real estate decisions, according to Cushman & Wakefield vice president of corporate services O.B. “Barney Upton III.

“Corporations are less likely to commit to a lease or purchase transaction until they can determine the direction of the economy,” Upton says. “Since these types of business decisions are 5- to 10-year commitments, or longer, and the cost is significant on behalf of a corporation. They tend to wait it out.”

Decision makers must also factor in the many, often-significant additional expenses associated with corporate relocation. “Technology infrastructure as well as salary and benefits all come into play,” notes Upton. “These costs can be quite substantial and run into the millions. Consequently, the decision whether or not to acquire a new facility is an important one for the corporation.”

Because recession-driven layoffs have caused many firms to return space to the market, Upton says that encouraging employment data will be a good indicator that a real estate uptick is imminent. “We will begin to see a recovery in corporate real estate activity when we see white-collar job growth,” he states.

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