In commercial real estate market, buyers and sellers play the waiting game

What's most striking about the commercial real estate market is how quiet it is.

"It's like a storm is brewing and it has everyone standing on the sidelines," says Bob Spratt, president of commercial real estate firm Hill Partners Inc.

And that near silence is expected to continue until 2010, when the market will likely reach its bottom, with values declining 40% to 50% off 2007 market peaks, according to the Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2010 Report recently released by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and the Urban Land Institute.