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Since the bottom of the recession in 2009, the U.S. economy has staged a rather respectable recovery. Total economic output now exceeds the pre-recession peak, as do retail sales and corporate profits. More important, recent growth has had more to do with private sector expansion and less government intervention, such as cash for clunkers and the home buyers’ tax credit, which drove the early stages of recovery. Commercial real estate investors have regained confidence with capital continuing its march back into the market so far this year as low interest rates and at least bottoming, if not improving fundamentals, justify a bit more risk tolerance. CRE sales were up 30% during the first quarter of 2011 over the same time last year, and appear to be broadening with more private capital joining institutional buyers, a factor that has dominated the increase in sales since the recovery began.

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