The market for commercial real estate will weaken in the next six to nine months as the availability of credit tightens further, the National Association of Realtors said Thursday.

The trade group said its Commercial Leading Indicator for Brokerage Activity index for the three months ended Sept. 30 fell 3.2% from a year earlier, the fifth consecutive quarter of decline. The index tracks 13 variables, including employment, wholesale merchant sales, and insurance claims, the Realtors said. "Aside from weakening conditions in the index variables, the commercial mortgage-backed securities market is all but frozen, making it very difficult to roll over existing debt that is coming due," Lawrence Yun, the Realtor group's chief economist, said in a press release.

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