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The National Association of Realtors is largely optimistic about the future of short-term real estate in the U.S, according to the organization’s quarterly commercial real estate forecast.   Some credit unions make business loans to their members to buy or renovate commercial real estate properties. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, observed commercial activity should progress at a gradual pace heading into 2015.   “Solid economic growth in the third quarter proved that the second quarter wasn’t an anomaly, as business spending increased, commercial construction rose and the labor market continued to make positive strides,” Yun said. “Job growth is the catalyst to improved demand for commercial real estate leasing and new construction projects.”   However, Yun also observed clouds on the horizon that credit unions and other lenders should watch carefully.   “GDP growth in the fourth quarter will be sluggish at around 2 percent behind stalling exports. Although GDP will likely climb to near 3 percent in 2015, the current pace of job growth could slow and ultimately impact commercial real estate activity if sluggishness in the global economy persists,” Yun said.   NAR also observed that the vacancy rates for commercial, retail and industrial space is expected to decline over the coming year as well. “Low housing inventory and the sizeable demand for rentals will continue to spur multifamily construction as well as keep rents rising above inflation through next year,” said Yun.

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