Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Commercial Defaults Coming Fast and Furious

According to this Bloomberg.com article, Maguire to Surrender Buildings, No Bankruptcy Planned, Maguire Properties Inc., the largest office landlord in downtown Los Angeles, will give seven office buildings back to the lenders. The company has already given one of those buildings back to the lenders. They plan on giving the other six buildings back soon. According to the article the company told lenders "it will no longer continue to fund the cash shortfall" on the mortgages for the six buildings. Of the seven office buildings, two are already in default. The CEO of Maguire said that the company is not considering bankruptcy. According to the article, Maguire's decision is a sign that landlords in Southern California’s overleveraged office market can no longer make payments and may be forced to abandon properties.

In short, the real estate market is still in for a world of hurt in formerly fast growth areas such as CA, NV, AZ and FL. Rising commercial loan defaults will lead to large numbers of short sales and foreclosures. The coming ARM resets will cause even more problems. Together, they will wreak more havoc on the real estate markets across the US over the next 12-24 months. Only after these issues play out will we hit a true real estate bottom.

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