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WASHINGTON, DC-Leading commercial real estate indicators show that, while the market is still growing, it is not growing at as fast a pace as it used to. “It’s a good news-bad news scenario,” National Association of Realtors senior economist Lawrence Yun tells GlobeSt.com.

NAR’s commercial version of its Leading Indicator for Brokerage Activity measures forward-looking investment trends. In the third quarter, the index rose 0.4% to 120.1, compared to an index of 119.6 in Q2. That is 2.9% higher than same period last year when it stood at 116.7, the highest level ever, says NAR.

The pace of growth is much weaker, though, Yun notes. For instance, the Ncreif total return indicator dropped to 3.5% this quarter, compared to 4% in the prior quarter, he notes. Other economic indicators NAR looks at include industry production, growth in employment, growth in personal income and wholesale and retail sale growth. These as well continue to show an increase, Yun says, “but less than before.”

According to NAR’s calculations, in Q1 of this year, office and industrial sector net absorption is expected to be 70 million sf to 90 million sf. There will be $315 billion to $325 billion in new, completed commercial construction activity, NAR also projected, compared with $309 billion of new construction in Q3. Also, leasing and sales activity in Q1 2007 should be approximately 2.9% higher than the same period last year.

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