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Survey of commercial real estate pros finds industry optimism.

NEARLY NINE OUT OF 10 COMMERCIAL REAL estate (CRE) professionals noted an optimistic outlook for the industry for the next six months, reversing a five-year period where confidence was in short supply, according to a national survey conducted by Black's Guide Inc., Gaithersburg, Maryland.

Black's Guide's first-ever CRE Trends Survey noted that 89 percent of CRE professionals felt confident that business would be as good or better in the next six months as it was in the prior six months.

The survey noted that certain markets had a decidedly more optimistic outlook than others. Orlando, Florida, netted the most optimistic responses of those surveyed, as 51 percent of respondents there said they anticipated their average current space requirement would increase in the next six months.

Denver had the second most positive outlook with 50 percent of respondents there anticipating a space-requirement increase, followed by Tampa, Florida, with 45 percent of respondents predicting an increase.

In all but two of the markets polled, "banking/finance" ranked as the leading industry to have leased commercial space over the past six months.

Rather than focusing on where tenants will come from, CRE professionals are focusing on the increased demands of new tenants, according to Ed Barnes, vice president and general manager of Black's Guide.

"The results of our first CRE Trends Survey demonstrate that the commercial real estate industry is experiencing signs of consistent growth after a sluggish five years," said Barnes. "CRE professionals are back into problem-solving mode ... looking for the kind of creative solutions and high-quality information that gets deals done."

The survey also noted that respondents cited wireless fidelity (WiFi)--wireless Internet access--as the most popular amenity requested by tenants, followed by food services and health clubs. Some interesting amenities being asked for are 24/7 air conditioning for computers (South Florida), sustainable/green practices within the facility (New Jersey) and high-end restaurants (Dallas).

Nearly 1,000 CRE professionals nationwide participated in the survey. The respondent pool was drawn from Black's Guide's online registered-user database, consisting of more than 18,000 commercial real estate professionals--mostly brokers, property managers and developers--in 19 markets the company serves around the country.
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Title Annotation:Commercial
Publication:Mortgage Banking
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 1, 2005
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