September 23, 2009

Foreclosure's shadow falling over commercial real estate

Think it's tough to refinance your home loan? Pity the poor commercial real estate owner. These guys often must refinance -- their loans only last, say, five to 10 years -- and they're having a dickens of a time doing it.

Thus 1st Mariner Tower at Canton Crossing is facing an Oct. 21 foreclosure auction, as Hanah Cho reports today. Baltimore banker Edwin F. Hale Sr. said the loan matured in August and the lender decided not to renew, though he said he's current on the loan. And he can't find anyone else to refinance it:

"There are no hedge funds, insurance companies, banks to go out and redo loans," Hale said. "I've been on a trek literally around the world trying to get this financed. And I have a lot of company."

The Wall Street Journal wrote on its Deal Journal blog to expect things to get worse, not better: "By the end of 2012, close to $100 billion of the loans that comprise [the commercial mortgage-backed securities market] are likely to face difficulty being refinanced because real-estate values have fallen so far that the borrowers won’t be able to extend existing mortgages or replace them with new debt."

Posted by Jamie Smith Hopkins at 9:25 AM | | Comments (9)
Categories: Commercial real estate
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About Jamie Smith Hopkins
Jamie Smith Hopkins, a Baltimore Sun reporter since 1999, writes about the regional economy. Her reporting on the housing market has won national and local awards. Hopkins is a Columbia native and has lived in Maryland all her life, save for 10 months spent covering schools in Ames, Iowa.
She trained to become a wonk by spending large chunks of time as a geek and an insufferable know-it-all.
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