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Sunday, October 21, 2007

Commercial real estate market slows




October 21 2007 BusinessWeek.com
The excesses that led to a bust in the housing boom haven't spread to the commercial real estate market, where the outlook is cautious but decidedly upbeat. Led by strong growth in the office and retail segments, commercial property sales hit $401 billion through Oct. 18, outpacing last year's $359 billion total, according to Real Capital Analytics, a New York based real-estate research firm. Construction spending on office buildings, shopping centers and other private, nonresidential projects jumped 15.2 percent in August, the Commerce Department said last month. There are some signs of slowing growth, analysts say, but nothing compared to the residential real estate market, where foreclosures and mortgage defaults are still rising rapidly, mainly from subprime mortgages extended to risky borrowers. Most economists forecast further declines in home sales and prices, making it "the most significant current risk to our economy," Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said last week.

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