Commercial Real Estate — the Next Industry to Be Nationalized?

As I discussed in my earlier post, the sugar high is finally wearing off from the commercial real estate bubble. Not to fear, the government is here! Crushing last year’s purchases in just one quarter, the federal government is using some clever tricks to artificially “stimulate” the slumping market:

At the same time, federal leasing activity is expanding, according to Jones Lang LaSalle, the real estate firm representing the government. The government signed deals for 750,000 square feet of space in the District in the first quarter of 2010, compared with 670,000 square feet in the city for all of 2009.

The money will go to good use, however:

Expansion of the government’s role in the nation’s financial markets, increased defense spending and the new health-care law are driving its demand for more space. The government is expected to increase its Washington area payroll by as many as 100,000, according to Partnership for Public Service, a nonprofit group that helps the federal government find workers.

“The government spent 2009 planning for the growth. We’re going to see the growth materialize in 2010,” said Scott Homa, research manager for Jones Lang LaSalle.

What’s an extra 100,000 on the payroll going to do? Why worry? The taxpayers can handle the tab.

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