The Housing Chronicles Blog: Commercial developers joining the bailout crowd

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Commercial developers joining the bailout crowd

Due to an inability to refinance loans for commercial property developments (which generally run for well less than 10 years and must be rolled over) and reduced income from higher vacancy rates and lower retail sales, developers are asking to be included as part of a federal rescue plan. From a Wall Street Journal story:.

With a record amount of commercial real-estate debt coming due, some of the country's biggest property developers have become the latest to go hat-in-hand to the government for assistance.

They're warning policymakers that thousands of office complexes, hotels, shopping centers and other commercial buildings are headed into defaults, foreclosures and bankruptcies. The reason: according to research firm Foresight Analytics LCC, $530 billion of commercial mortgages will be coming due for refinancing in the next three years -- with about $160 billion maturing in the next year. Credit, meanwhile, is practically nonexistent and cash flows from commercial property are siphoning off.

Unlike home loans, which borrowers repay after a set period of time, commercial mortgages usually are underwritten for five, seven or 10 years with big payments due at the end. At that point, they typically need to be refinanced. A borrower's inability to refinance could force it to give up the property to the lender.

Click here for full story.

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