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PHILADELPHIA-The 141-million-sf suburban industrial market in Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery Counties remains “relatively stable,” according to Paul Torosian, principal in the local office of Dallas-based Trammell Crow Co. His office’s second-quarter research indicates, “direct vacancy remains below 10%,” he says and has held at that level for the past six quarters.

Overall vacancy, including available sublease space, stands at 10.3%, according to the report.

Leasing activity of 1.8-million sf is consistent with the previous year’s activity.

“However, the second quarter’s 1-million-sf net absorption is the single largest decline for any quarter since 1999,” Torosian says.

Asking rental rates for the full market average $4.85 per sf. The average in Bucks County is $5 per sf, the highest of the four counties. The average in both Delaware and Montgomery counties is $4.50 pr sf, and, in Chester, it is $4.75 per sf.

Delaware County has the lowest overall vacancy rate, 5.6%; and Montgomery the highest at 11.8%.

The suburban industrial market is an established market, consisting primarily of second- and third-generation product, according to Torosian. He says, “most large industrial (companies) are seeking distribution-oriented markets, such as Southern New Jersey and Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley, where newer buildings offer the physical characteristics needed by today’s modern user.”

He expects the Philadelphia suburban industrial market to remain relatively unchanged for the remainder of 2002.

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