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The good news for the commercial real estate industry is no one has any allusions any longer about how bad next year will be — dropping values, rising foreclosures, continuing transaction gridlock until values hit bottom, and refinancing nightmares for borrowers while lenders reconcile balance sheets figuring out the extent of losses from mindless loans underwritten in the 2005-2007 period. And industry players also accept most development projects nearing completion will be dead on arrival. In my cross country travels over the past month delivering the Emerging Trends forecast, I've heard nary a peep about fundamentals holding up to carry the day. You'd be surprised how many pros were in denial hanging on to that thread up until the Lehman bankruptcy in September.

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