Showing posts with label commercial real estate. Show all posts
Showing posts with label commercial real estate. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Commercial Real Estate Problems

Commercial Real Estate Problems

According to this article, Commercial real estate facing worse days, the worst for commercial real estate is yet to come. The article cites the contracting economy and worsening financing markets as the main causes of the commercial real estate decline. My opinion is that the real problem is that all real estate prices (residential and commercial) just reached a point where they made no sense whatsoever. According to the article, "It's just a hint of the harrowing state of affairs in commercial real estate, where vacancies are on the rise across virtually all sectors, rents and property values are dropping, building owners are low on funds, and financing options are drying up. And bad as things are, they're expected to get worse - the next slide in the snowballing economic crisis that began with the collapse of the housing market and continues to claim casualties." The article quotes Sid Smith, managing partner of the regional office of Newmark Knight Frank Smith Mack, a global real estate services firm, as saying "There's a tremendous amount of pain coming." I definitely agree. I predict that we will see more and more commercial real estate foreclosures, bankruptcies and short sales.

If you are a Middle TN real estate investor, home builder or real estate developer who cannot pay the property/project mortgage payments (due to the poor economy, adverse financing conditions, slow sales, loss of investment property tenants, vacancy issues, lack of funds to complete the project, feuding business partners, etc.), have already defaulted on the mortgage, or are already in foreclosure, or owe more than the property/project is worth, please contact me to discuss your options including a short sale (a real estate short sale occurs when the sale proceeds are not sufficient to pay off all the mortgages and liens on the property/project). I am a Middle Tennessee distressed real estate, short sale, pre-foreclosure (preforeclosure) and foreclosure REALTOR and Expert. I primarily help sellers (property owners, real estate investors, home builders and real estate developers) of distressed real estate, short sales, pre-foreclosures, foreclosures, investment properties, failed new construction projects and struggling commercial real estate developments located in and around Middle Tennessee (Rutherford County TN, Williamson County TN, Davidson County TN, Murfreesboro TN, Smyrna TN, La Vergne TN, Eagleville TN, Lascassas TN, Rockvale TN, Christiana TN, Brentwood TN, Franklin TN, Nashville TN and Belle Meade TN).  If you do need to short sell your home or property, or you need a quick sale due to being in foreclosure, you can request short sale and foreclosure help and assistance on my website at Get Short Sale and Foreclosure Help and Assistance from a Middle Tennessee Short Sale and Foreclosure REALTOR and Real Estate Expert.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Unemployment Rate Increases to 9.8% as Jobless Claims Come In Higher Than Expected

According to this New York Times article, Jobless Report Is Worse Than Expected; Rate Rises to 9.8%, the "American economy lost 263,000 jobs in September 2009, which was a lot more than was expected. As a result, the unemployment rate rose to 9.8%. This reduces the chances of the job market recovering by the end of 2009.

The US Labor Department raised concerns over huge government deficits coupled with high unemployment. The article stated "The numbers could intensify pressure on Congress to provide additional unemployment benefits and extend some programs that are set to expire toward the end of the year, such as tax credit for first-time homebuyers and health-insurance subsidies for people who lose their jobs."

According to the article, the government's stimulus efforts are not working to provide lasting employment. As an example, the article noted that state and local governments cut 47,000 jobs and auto dealerships (in the post "Cash for Clunkers" world) cut 7,100 jobs in September 2009. Also, the number of hours worked flattened and overtime hours declined in many industries. The article stated "while many businesses are making money again and seeing new orders trickle in, most are not ready to hire back the workers, even part-time. To economists, that suggests that unemployment could remain at historically high levels through next year, if not longer."

According to ean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, "People have been celebrating that we’re through the financial crisis, but the underlying issues are all still there. We’ve lost trillions of dollars in housing wealth, and consumption’s going to be weak. It’s not the ’30s, but there’s really nothing to boost the economy."

According to Andrew Stettner, deputy director of the National Employment Law Project, "This is still severe. It's not going to be turning around as fast as people want."

According to the article, there is a good chance that "other economic measures are beginning to waver, signaling that the initial phase of the recovery — a sharp rebound from a deep bottom — may be giving way to a long grind higher, marked by uncertainty and pain for many."

As I have been saying for quite some time now, this is only going to get worse. The problem was caused by too much debt. Now the economy needs to recede back down to a sustainable level not based on the high level of debt. The same goes for real estate - prices need to come down. All of this is going to result in more mortgage delinquencies, short sales and foreclosures.

If you are a homeowner in Middle Tennessee who cannot pay your mortgage and your home is worth less than the amount(s) you owe, please contact me to discuss selling your home via a short sale. I am a Middle Tennessee distressed real estate, short sale, pre-foreclosure (preforeclosure) and foreclosure expert and REALTOR.
  • Rutherford County Tennessee: Murfreesboro TN, Smyrna TN and La Vergne TN (LaVergne TN)
  • Williamson County Tennessee: Brentwood TN and Franklin TN
  • Davidson County Tennessee: Nashville TN and Belle Meade TN
You can find out more information about me via my website and my Active Rain profile Jim McCormack's Active Rain Profile - Short Sale REALTOR and Real Estate Expert.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Effects of a Loan Modification, Short Sale, Foreclosure, Bankruptcy and Walking Away/Doing Nothing on Credit Scores

Effects of a Loan Modification, Short Sale, Foreclosure, Bankruptcy and Walking Away/Doing Nothing on Your Credit Score

There seems to be a lot of conflicting information out there regarding the negative effects of a Loan Modification, Short Sale, Foreclosure, Bankruptcy and Walking Away/Doing Nothing on a person's credit score. I would like to try to clear some of that confusion up.

According to this Los Angeles Times article, Mortgage problems are walloping Americans' credit scores, loan modifications, short sales, foreclosures, bankruptcies and walking away/doing nothing effect your credit score differently. Below is a brief summary of the different options.

  • Loan Modification Type 1 - This Loan Modification type rolls late payments and penalties into the principal debt owed. According to the LA Times article, this type of loan modification may modestly increase your credit score.
  • Loan Modification Type 2 - This Loan Modification type is a refinancing of underwater (i.e. negative equity) mortgage(s). This is what is offered under the Obama administration's Making Home Affordable Program through government controlled Fannie and Freddie Mac. According to the LA Times article, this type of Loan Modification "may have little or no negative effect on scores, even though the homeowners might have been tottering on the edge of serious delinquency before refinancing."
  • Short Sale - A short sale is a sale of a property where the net sale proceeds are not sufficient to pay off the mortgage balance(s) and there is no party willing or able to make up the shortage. According to the LA Times article, a short sale may lower your credit score by 120-130 points. I have heard from other people that a short sale lowers a person's credit score by 80-100 points. For sake of simplicity, let's say that a short sale will drop your credit score by about 100 points on average (This does not include the negative effects of any missed mortgage payments. You do not need to miss any mortgage payments in order to successfully complete a short sale). While this seems bad (it certainly is not good), it is much better than foreclosure, or doing nothing. In fact, according Question 7, "If a borrower has completed a short sale and was never delinquent on that mortgage and is now attempting to purchase a new primary residence, will Fannie Mae purchase the loan?", in this this Fannie Mae publication, Announcement 08-16: Bankruptcy, Foreclosure, and Conversion of Principal Residence Policy Changes; and Revised Property Value Representation and Warranty Requirements, "If the borrower is purchasing a new property and the previous mortgage history complies with our excessive prior mortgage delinquency policy and does not have one or more 60-, 90-, 120-, or 150-day delinquencies reported within the 12 months prior to the credit report date, the loan is eligible for delivery to Fannie Mae, provided the lender or servicer who completed the short sale has not entered into any agreement that obligates the borrower to repay any amounts associated with the short sale, including a deficiency judgment." In other words, you can short sell your existing home and immediately buy another home as long you did not have a 60 day or more delinquency and your short sale lender did not require you to pay the shortage (normal loan underwriting criteria applies). This publication clarifies the previous Fannie Mae publication, Announcement 08-16.
  • Foreclosure - Homeowners that allow their home to go to full foreclosure (i.e. be auctioned off by the lender and/or become a bank owned property) should expect their credit scores to decline by 140 to 150 points plus negative marks on their credit bureau files for as long as seven years. Having a foreclosure on your credit report will also make it much more difficult to buy a home. Fannie Mae requires foreclosed home buyers to wait at least 5 years before buying another home and even then Fannie Mae will require larger down payments. Freddie Mac generally requires a waiting period of 7 years. The FHA currently has a waiting period of 3 years, but is expected to increase that waiting requirement.
  • Bankruptcy - The LA Times article states "People who file for bankruptcy protection covering all their debts (mortgage, credit cards, auto loans, etc.) will get hit with an average 355- to 365-point drop in their scores. Bankruptcies remain on borrowers' credit bureau files for 10 years." Having a bankruptcy on your credit report will make it very difficult to buy another home. Fannie Mae requires that people who file a non-Chapter 13 bankruptcy wait a minimum of 4 years from dismissal or discharge before obtaining a new home loan. For Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the waiting requirement is 2 years from discharge and 4 years from dismissal.
  • Walking Away/Doing Nothing - according to the LA Times article the "strategic default" has become common in large foreclosure laden markets such as California (and Florida, Nevada and Arizona). Homeowners who choose this option should expect the same consequences as a Foreclosure (described above).

The LA Times article goes on to state that Americans overall credit scores have declined significantly over the last couple of years. The article refers to the Vantage credit score, the main competitor to the well known FICO credit score, which "rates borrowers on a scale range of 501 (subprime, the highest risk) to 990 (super-prime, the lowest risk). Unlike Fair Isaac Corp.'s FICO scoring system, whose scores can vary by 50 to 100 points based on which bureau supplied the underlying credit data, Vantage scores are about the same for each consumer."

Regarding the negative effects of this financial mess on people's credit scores, the article states "For example, roughly 36.6 million of the 213 million consumers tracked by the three national credit bureaus in the first quarter of 2008 had Vantage scores above 900 -- the super-prime credit rung. That select group represented 17.2% of the country's consumers.But by the end of the second quarter of this year, just 15.4% -- 33.3 million out of 216.9 million individuals' files -- were left among the elite. By credit industry standards, that's huge. More Americans' scores are slipping into the worst credit category as well. In the third quarter of 2006, 34.4 million consumers were in the lowest segment -- 16.6% of 206.9 million individuals. But by the second quarter of this year, 18.3% of all files were in that category -- 39.8 million consumers out of 216.9 million. Most of these changes -- fewer people with excellent credit, more people in the lowest brackets -- have been caused by late payments on home mortgages, serious delinquencies, short sales and foreclosures, according to VantageScore researchers."

The article does offer a glimmer of good news - the same information I have been saying for months. That is "the bottom-line good news about scores is that homeowners facing financial stress can experience minimal dings to their credit if they contact their loan servicer or lender early in the game -- when they first discover that they may have trouble making their monthly payments -- and take the first steps toward a loan modification or refinancing." In other words, doing nothing is the worst thing you can do. The article cautions financially distressed homeowners not to "wait and fall several payments behind before seeking a modification". The article quotes Barrett Burns, a former lender and now chief executive of VantageScore, as saying "Start that conversation early. You can lose 240 points on your score" and damage your ability to obtain credit for years.

Based on the above, if you are a home owner who is experiencing difficult financial times and cannot afford to pay your mortgage, you should try to get a loan modification first. If a loan modification is not approved, or you cannot pay your mortgage even after a loan modification, then a short sale is your next best option.

Due to the declines in people's credit scores as described above, the large number of homeowners in financial distress (due to a loss of income, unemployment, etc.), the large number of homeowners underwater (see my previous blog post, SCARY STUFF: About half of U.S. mortgages seen underwater by 2011), the relative attractiveness of short sales and the large numbers of homeowners who do nothing/walk away (this is a terrible decision) there will be a lot of short sales and foreclosures over the next several years.

If you are a homeowner who cannot pay your mortgage (due to losing your job, having your income reduced, illness, health problems, etc.), or your home is already in foreclosure, or you owe more than your home is worth you should contact a real estate and/or bankruptcy attorney to discuss your legal options. You should also contact your mortgage company to inquire about a loan modification. If you a homeowner in Middle Tennessee and would like help and assistance with a loan modification please contact me for free no obligation assistance. If a loan modification will not work for you, or is not granted by your mortgage company, I can help you with a short sale of your property. I am a Middle Tennessee distressed real estate, short sale, pre-foreclosure (preforeclosure) and foreclosure REALTOR and Expert. I serve real estate owners, homeowners and investment property owners in Rutherford County TN, Williamson County TN, Davidson County TN, Murfreesboro TN, Smyrna TN, La Vergne TN, Eagleville TN, Lascassas TN, Rockvale TN, Christiana TN, Brentwood TN, Franklin TN, Nashville TN and Belle Meade TN. If you do need to short sell your home (a real estate short sale occurs when the sale proceeds are not sufficient to pay off all the mortgages and liens on the property/home), or you need a quick sale due to being in foreclosure, you can request short sale and foreclosure help and assistance on my website at Get Short Sale and Foreclosure Help and Assistance from a Middle Tennessee Short Sale and Foreclosure REALTOR and Real Estate Expert.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

My Thoughts on the "Doomed" Housing Market: Listen When "Dr. Doom" Speaks

According to this CNBC article, US Economy Facing 'Death by a Thousand Cuts': Roubini, Nouriel Roubini says "more banks will fail and residential real estate prices have more room to decline."  According to Roubini, the economy faces a real threat of a "double dip" recession due to the severely damaged financial system and a lack of consumer spending.  Roubini says "the securitization market is all but dead, the credit markets are still frozen and consumers will continue to save more rather than spend and boost growth."  He predicts that by the time this financial and economic crisis is all over the following will happen:
  • More than 1,000 financial institutions could fail.
  • Housing prices will likely to fall another 12 percent in the next year making the total decline approximately 40 percent since the market began its steep decline. This will result in nearly one half of all homeowners owing more on their mortgages than their houses are worth.
Regarding housing construction, Roubini states "The gap between supply and demand is so huge we could stop producing new homes for a year to get rid of all the inventory  This price adjustment, in my opinion, is going to continue for another year."

Regarding commercial real estate, he warns that regulators are repeating some of the same mistakes made during the financial crisis. He states "Allowing forbearance in the deeply troubled sector will mask underlying problems that will come back and bite the economy".

While I do have a BA degree with a major in Economics from an Ivy League University, I am not a professor or professional economist.  However, I have been saying much of the same for months now.  That is that housing prices are still too high and there is still too much new construction.  We do not need new construction reduced to such and such levels - we need all new spec construction to come to a halt for at least a year.  Of course, that will not happen.  Instead new homes will be built, housing will continue to decline, more short sales and foreclosures will occur and more bailouts will be doled out to foolish banks and lenders.  It's an endless cycle of disaster.

With respect to the Middle Tennessee real estate market:
  • Rutherford County Tennessee: Murfreesboro TN, Smyrna TN and La Vergne TN (LaVergne TN)
  • Williamson County Tennessee: Brentwood TN and Franklin TN
  • Davidson County Tennessee: Nashville TN and Belle Meade TN
I have been saying since I moved here in September 2008 that the Middle Tennessee housing and commercial real estate market is significantly over built and that housing prices are still too high.  Since the peak of the real estate market in Middle Tennessee occurred in late 2007/early 2008 (i.e. 2 years later than most places) the market here will decline for a few more years.  Also, a large portion of the homes sold with 95-100% subprime and FHA financing which have high default rates so short sales and foreclosures will be high in Middle Tennessee.  Therefore, I predict that the Middle Tennessee real estate market will do worse than the US average over the next few years.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Prime Mortgages Make Up One Third of Foreclosure Actions

According to this article, Prime Mortgages Are Failing, between April and June of 2009 13% of all homeowners in the United States were either behind on their mortgage payments, or in foreclosure. If that is not bad enough news, the article goes on to state that while subprime (sub prime) ARM loan defaults decreased, the decrease was offset by large a large increase in the number of delinquent prime mortgages (that is mortgages to the most credit worthy borrowers who actually invested down payments, had verifiable jobs and excellent credit). The article quotes Jay Brinkmann, chief economist of the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), as stating "Prime fixed-rate loans now account for one in three foreclosure starts. A year ago they accounted for one in five. While 41 states had increases in the foreclosure start rate for prime fixed-rate loans, 43 states had decreases in that rate for subprime (sub prime) adjustable-rate loans." According to the article, the MBA defines delinquencies as those between 30 and 90 days past due. Homeowners beyond 90 days past due, or in foreclosure, are identified as seriously delinquent. The article blames increasing unemployment and declining property values (think underwater homeowners) as the main causes of this huge increase in prime mortgage foreclosure starts. According to the article, California, Florida, Arizona and Nevada continue to make up the largest % of foreclosures, but that % has decreased from 46% in the 1st quarter of 2009 to 44% in the 2nd quarter of 2009. The article states that Florida is in particularly bad shape with 12% of mortgages in the process of foreclosure, and at least 22.8% are delinquent. Also, according to the article, there was a major jump in Federal Housing Authority (FHA) foreclosures.

Here is my synopsis of the real estate market based on the information above and other information.
  • The most financially responsible borrowers (prime mortgagors) are hurting. Even large down payments are not enough to counter the huge price declines. More homeowners underwater = more foreclosures.
  • Foreclosures are increasing in general. This will cause more price declines.
  • While the "Fab 4" (California, Florida, Arizona and Nevada) are still the kingdoms of foreclosure and prices will surely continue to fall in those markets, the decrease in % of total foreclosures nationwide from 46% to 44% while overall foreclosures increased means that foreclosures in other states increased at a higher pace that the "Fab 4" states. This means prices will decline nearly everywhere.
  • More distressed homeowners will cause more people to try to rent out their homes. Until prices decline to a point where monthly rents exceed total monthly housing payments prices will continue to decline. Rampant foreclosures will make sure prices actually head below this normal equilibrium.
  • Government meddling (expanded FHA mortgages, tax credits, etc.) has not and will not work to save the real estate market. The market is correcting itself to sustainable levels. FHA mortgages are now failing at alarming rates. Tax payers will once again have to foot the bill for regulatory incompetence. It seems that very few people are stating the truth about the real estate market. That is that high housing prices are bad for people (especially lower income people) and high commercial real estate prices are bad for business, which is in turn bad for job growth. Also, real estate has never (until the last few years) been the driver of the economic bus. It has been the passenger, meaning that economic growth (and the resultant business, job and income growth) caused housing prices to increase and new construction to increase. Not the other way around. Any attempt to work in reverse logic = insanity.
Please be clear about my opinion. "The worst is yet to come." I have been saying this since early 2006 and I see no reason to change my outlook on the housing and commercial real estate markets.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Commercial Defaults Coming Fast and Furious

According to this 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.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

"Stress Tests a Sham"; Banks Have $2 Trillion Dollar Hole While Credit Card and Commercial Real Estate Loan Defaults Soar

According to this interview with William Black, a former bank regulator, author and current law and economics professor at the University of Missouri, the "Stress Tests" are a "sham"and US banks need $2 trillion dollars to remain solvent. Since he directly attributes this figure to Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner I am guessing that the real number is much higher since according to Mr. Black the "stress tests" do not factor in bank reserves or asset quality (i.e. the increasing defaults on all types of loans including credit cards and commercial real estate loans). Additionally, Mr. Black states that commercial real estate is in for a "world of hurt". As I stated previously, there is going to be a surge in the number of foreclosures hitting the market as banks fail and are forced to finally liquidate the foreclosures they have artifically been holding back and most of the large banks in the US are already insolvent and will need to be nationalized soon.