An index that gauges the prospects for commercial real estate brokerage activity was up 0.5% in the second quarter to a record reading of 120.7, according to the National Association of Realtors.The Washington-based Realtors' trade group said that this suggests "improved business opportunities for commercial real estate practitioners in the months ahead." Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist, said, "The rise in the index means net absorption of space in the industrial and office sectors is likely to expand over the next six to nine months. In addition, an improvement in returns on investment implies healthy rent increases for commercial property owners." Net absorption of space in the office and industrial sectors is likely to be 30 million to 40 million square feet in the fourth quarter, according to the association. The NAR index is based on input from 13 economic variables.

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