Foreign buyers are likely to replace U.S. investors sidelined by the credit crunch in acquiring commercial assets, especially in so-called gateway markets such as New York, Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles, and other coastal markets, according to Ernst & Young. In its Global Real Estate Market Outlook 2008, the firm identifies trends in global CRE markets and predicts that foreign investors will "step into the vacuum for commercial assets." However, Dale Anne Reiss, global real estate director for Ernst & Young, warned that the overall situation "isn't likely to ease in 2008 and, with the lack of available financing and the specter of recession in the U.S., we expect real estate market conditions both here and abroad to be difficult through this year." Other trends identified by the report include continuing defaults and foreclosures in U.S. housing markets, rising delinquencies and defaults in the commercial sector, growing strength in the market for real estate investment trusts, and rapid growth in investments by sovereign funds on behalf of national governments. The company can be found online at http://www.ey.com.

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