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CHICAGO-Wednesday, during a media-only market forecast call, researches at Jones Lang LaSalle offered their take on the current economic situation and what to expect in 2010 and 2011. Commercial real estate recovery is likely to begin in the second half of 2010 with robust growth in the majority of sectors and markets during 2011.

While many experts agree that this time around the economic downturn was highly synchronized globally the recovery will not be as harmonized. Markets and property types will grow at different paces based on a number of factors including job growth, retail sales and vacancy rates.

While the other sectors may begin to see slight improvements in 2010, John Sikaitis, head of office research for JLL, says that the office market is like the caboose on a train: it always enters the station last. Nationally the office market will continue to suffer through the first half of 2010 as vacant developments come online and sublease space again enters the arena. Vacancy is likely to top out at 20% in the 2011.

Office rents, which have already declined 8% to 9% this year, will likely decrease by another 2% before year end, reaching a total decline of 15% in 2010. Owners are not likely to see rent growth until the third quarter of 2011. Rent depreciation and an increase in supply puts the market securely in the hands of the tenant.

“As a result of the prevailing 2010 market dynamics, tenants in nearly every geography and product type will continue to hold heightened leverage over landlords through the better part of 2010,” Sikaitis says. “For strong-credit tenants, the current marketplace presents an ideal window of opportunity to lock in long-term occupancy at significantly discounted rates. Opportunities also exist for flexible credit-worthy landlords. Landlords with strong balance sheets will find it increasingly advantageous to market their financial strength, along with building features and amenities.”

JLL researchers find that the hotel industry will continue to see a decline in RevPAR, although it will not continue to decline at as rapid a rate as the market saw this year. The research found, “RevPAR in 2010 is still forecast to be down on 2009 levels, but RevPAR is expected to flatten out and record positive growth in year-over-year comparisons by mid-2010.” Lodging demand will rise by 1.1% in 2010, which, if that takes place, will be the first annual industry increase since 2007. In the second half of 2010 deal volumes will pick up across the country.

Despite two months of declines in consumer confidence and a rising unemployment rate, the retail sector is showing slight sings of improvement. Personal consumption increased in the third quarter by 3.4%. Likewise, consumer spending is expected to rise 1.6% in 2010. This holiday season will be a big test for retailers. While most companies are keeping inventory low they are also touting sales that are better than past years.

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