As the residential real estate market has seen a massive level of mortgage delinquencies and foreclosures over the past twelve months the commercial real estate market so far has not seen the same kind of fallout. However, this could soon change. In fact, Apartment Finance Today dedicated an entire section of their industry magazine in July to what they title “The Gathering Storm” in commercial real estate.
There are quite a few factors that have contributed to the coming problems in commercial real estate and one of the main issues is the fact that many commercial real estate properties were purchased with loans that were backed by commercial mortgage backed securities (CMBS). These CMBS were underwritten with extremely aggressive terms, often offering as much as 90% financing with loan terms that only stretched for five years. Now, according to Apartment Finance Today, apartment building values have dropped as much as 30% and those loans are beginning to become due. “As apartment values continue to descend, the LTV ratio of existing debt gets skewed. A loan that was made at 75 percent LTV two years ago may now be at 85 percent LTV or higher,” said says Don King, head of national agency lending at Needham, Mass.-based CWCapital.