Decline in commercial real estate may be slowing, but not in Kansas

A national study says the decline in commercial real estate nationwide is slowing. But Wichita analysts think some segments of the city's commercial sector could continue to slip until the local economy — and the aviation industry — rights itself.

The commercial sector, battered by tight credit, unemployment and slowing consumer spending, is leveling off, according to a study from the National Association of Realtors released last week.

The Commercial Leading Indicator for Brokerage Activity declined 1.3 percent to an index of 101.5 in the second quarter.

The index is down 13.7 percent under the 117.6 reading recorded in the second quarter of 2008 and is at its lowest level since the first quarter of 1994.

Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist, said in a statement that the decline means business opportunities in leasing, sales and property management are drying up with no rebound expected through at least the first quarter of 2010.

And it could be that long before some sectors of the Wichita commercial market rebound, local analysts said.

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