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Positive signs are visible when looking at the level of distress in the Midwest. Most of the region’s markets don’t have the breadth of troubled loans and properties seen in other large markets across the country. A notable exception is Chicago, though the city is starting to gain back some swagger with more office deals. However, distress will continue to grow in the Midwest, experts agree. Though the region has fewer foreclosures now, the number will increase in 2011, and troubled properties will take longer to fix than in the rest of the country, says Brett Thompson, a principal with Ernst & Young in Chicago. Investors, and tenants, are quicker to return to properties on the coasts and in warmer climates, whereas the Midwest tends to follow recovery trends by a year or two, he says.

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