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Commercial real estate pros still glum

May 27, 2009 |  2:46 pm

Most real estate professionals remain gloomy about the prospects of the commercial property market turning around this year and predict further price declines, according to a recent poll.

There have been few large property sales since the credit market froze last summer. Only a third of the 1,500 respondents to a survey taken by online property listing service LoopNet, however, said they expect sales activity to recover in 2009.

Most of the survey's respondents, 42%, are not expecting the market to pick up until 2010. A large number of the respondents, 26%, are even more pessimistic. Those commercial real estate investors, brokers and owners don't expect to see a recovery until 2011.

Prices have to come down 10% or more from current levels to restart the market, according to two-thirds of the respondents. Many think the market will come down farther than that. About 37% of the professionals predicted prices will go down as much as 20% while 30% said values will go down more n 30%

As a group, owners are more optimistic, both in terms of the timing of the recovery and the expected level of price declines, than are investors and brokers, LoopNet said.

-- Roger Vincent