The industrial real estate market posted a "shaky" first quarter as absorption fell well below expected levels, according to Colliers International, a Boston-based real estate services firm.Absorption totaled 27.3 million square feet, down from 36.9 msf in the fourth quarter and 40.0 msf a year earlier. Though demand was far less than expected, rents increased slightly in the first quarter. "Despite a slow start, it's too early to sound the alarm," said Ross Moore, senior vice president and director of market and economic research at Colliers. "The underlying economy, with the exception of the housing sector, continues to register measured growth, which we believe will eventually help bolster the warehouse leasing market." Industrial vacancies totaled 8.15% in the first quarter, down from 8.11% in the fourth quarter and 8.51% in the first quarter of 2006, Colliers reported. The company can be found online at http://www.colliers.com.

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