By Mark Heschmeyer on CoStar

Fundamentals in U.S. office markets appear to have stabilized and are headed toward an expected recovery, according to CoStar Group in its The State of the U.S. Office Market: Mid-Year 2010 Review & Forecast.

In its detailed quarterly analysis of the U.S. office market, CoStar Group confirmed positive net absorption for the quarter and office vacancy rates that appear to have peaked and are no longer rising.

“As we anticipated two quarters ago, it now appears we have hit the bottom of the market in terms of vacancy and that is critical here in this business,” said Andrew Florance, CEO of CoStar. “The fact that we are clearly showing some sort of bottom and we don’t have a significant increase in vacancy this quarter is very positive news.”

In presenting the latest findings based on CoStar’s research, Florance sought to dispel confusion over the office market’s performance that may have resulted from conflicting media reports.

[BLOGGER COMMENT: In an earlier post this blogger noted the fact that Florida office assets are now trading for substantially below replacement cost. My conclusion is that this appears to be an outstanding entry point for investors that have been on the sidelines waiting for a buy signal.]

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Tampa Bay Sale TrAs the price

[BLOGGER QUESTION]

Is it time to call a buying signal for office properties in Florida now that the acquisition price has dipped under the replacement cost? Or are office investors trying to catch a falling knife?

D.C.-area developer Jeff Neal gives the Huffington Post Investigative Fund a tour of empty commercial properties just blocks from the Capitol. He says we were, “drunk on a binge of easy credit and the bartender (the market) took away the bottle (credit).”

BLOGGER COMMENT: Private equity groups are looking to double down. They are building massive cash war chests to acquire properties from banks and distressed sellers for a fraction of replacement cost. Should the government create a false bottom or allow the market to find the true bottom where transactions can take place to eliminate the “Zombie overhang” on the market?

By Carl Cronan in GlobeSt.com

CLEARWATER, FL-A go-kart track operator has found a new way to use an existing industrial building: Bertrand Ollier, owner of Tampa Bay Grand Prix, will open an indoor track next month inside 40,000 square feet at 12350 Automobile Blvd., in a space previously occupied by building materials supplier Alpha Tile & Stone.

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