Maloney: Commercial Real Estate Is a “Time Bomb”

My friend Dawn Kopecki of Bloomberg News just posted an interesting item quoting Joint Economic Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney as saying that the $3.5 trillion commercial real estate market is a ticking ”time bomb” that may lead to a second wave of losses at large U.S. banks.  Of course, most readers of TBP probably already know this to be true, but given the run up in financials today it is interesting to see such comments coming from the Congress.

Our view of CRE exposure has not changed at all, namely that the loss rates in that asset class will be multiples of the record loss rates on residential or RES exposures.  Why on earth is the Obama Administration still listening to Tim Geithner and Ben Bernanke on the latest PPIP proposal to buy CMBS at current prices when the cash flows are falling every month?  If you look at the yields on bank CRE and then extrapolate to the securitization market where much of the CRE exposure resides, there is no way that the pricing assumptions in the PPIP make sense.   Guess we have to wait for T-Day for Obama & Co to wake up and smell the bird burning.

One of the questions I ask my clients is this: How do you think prices for exisiting homes and commercial both will react when the RES and CRE properties now in foreclosure work their way through the courts and come popping out onto the secondary market around Thanksgiving?   My firm entered a JV with a very experienced asset management and disposal group earlier this year.  The view from the disposal channel is ugly.

Excerpt of article below:

Commercial Real Estate Is a ‘Time Bomb,’ Maloney Says (Update2)

(Adds comments on rebound in third, fifth paragraphs.)

By Dawn Kopecki

July 9 (Bloomberg) — The $3.5 trillion commercial real estate market is a ticking ”time bomb” that may lead to a second wave of losses at large U.S. banks, congressional Joint Economic Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney said.

About $700 billion in commercial mortgages will need to be refinanced before the end of 2010 and ”doing nothing is not an option,” Maloney, a New York Democrat, said at a committee hearing today. This ”looming crisis” may lead to significant losses for banks, force shopping center and hotel owners into bankruptcy, and impede economic recovery, she said.

The response by banks to this ”growing threat has been slow and inadequate,” said James Helsel, a partner at RSR Realtors in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and treasurer for the National Association of Realtors. ”The lack of liquidity and banks’ reluctance to extend lending are also becoming apparent in the increasing level of delinquent properties.”

Read the rest of Dawn’s article:

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aTP9nCROB6PU

Best,

Chris

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