GLOBAL - The office market worldwide has continued to show resilience despite the general downturn in the global economy, according to Boston-based global property specialist Colliers International.

While the record demand for office space worldwide markets between 2005-2007 now seems confined to history, Colliers's mid-year office market report for 2008 nonetheless revealed many office markets are still posting solid fundamentals in their economic data - an indication of a return to positive trends, suggests the firm.

And Colliers believes the emerging markets are spearheading the revival.

"Much of Asia Pacific, Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Middle East continued to register robust leasing conditions with lower vacancies and higher rents," the firm said.

"Only major financial centres in Western Europe and North America reported signs of weakness. To date, developing economies remain largely unfazed, and continue to show solid growth and a healthy appetite for office space. A similar pattern exists for office building sales, with investment volumes holding up in Asia Pacific but down in much of Europe and North America," it added.

Nonetheless, Colliers warned emerging markets economies and real estate are not immune to a general economic cooling and could soon begin to feel the pinch. "Looking forward to the latter half of 2008 and 2009, office markets in all regions are expected to become more subdued as the global economy slows and lenders remain cautious."

Colliers's office market report contrasts somewhat with a similar report for the industrial sector it released in August which found mixed fortunes.

Europe and most of North America showed return declines, especially in the warehouse market, while Asia and parts of Canada, like the office sector in emerging markets, displayed solid fundamentals fuelling growth in their industrial property markets.