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PHILADELPHIA-Even though the economy is in a shambles, and vacancy rates are increasing across the country, the industrial market in this area seems to be holding its own, according to a recent report. In the fourth quarter, industrial vacancy rates averaged just under 10%, according to a CB Richard Ellis report.

Of course, rates have still risen from the same year-ago period, when they were just around 7% during the fourth quarter of 2007. Part of the reason that the rates have held up at all has to do with mid-sized tenant demand in the Lehigh Valley area, where companies are still looking for space in the 75,000-square-foot to 200,000-square-foot-range.

There was an increase in the average asking lease rate, which increased to $4.26 from just under $4.20 in the Q4 of 2007, even though only four of 12 markets actually posted a rate increase. The Lehigh Valley had the highest rate, at $4.69, followed by Montgomery County’s $4.61.

Meanwhile, the area’s office market has felt minimal negative impact as well, another CBRE report says. Vacancy rates have risen to just under 14% from the previous year’s 12%.

Lease rates have also gone up, from just under $25 to $26.55. Independence Hall had the lowest vacancy rate, at just under 6.9%, while University City commanded the highest asking rent, at a $33.62 average.

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