There appears to be an increasing air of optimism among real estate owners and investors with the recent increase in housing starts and apparent stabilization in the stock market. However, financing remains limited and expensive as spreads remain very wide and LTV’s very low.
Unlike the early 1990’s, when banks and the FDIC dumped real estate assets, the banks today are exercising far more patience and appear willing to hold and manage foreclosed assets until pricing improves. Based on the proposed federal assistance that the feds plan to give to banks and the relaxation of mark-to-market accounting sales, we expect many banks will partner with third party real estate operators to augment the condition and ultimate value of their foreclosed assets.
With further white collar layoffs projected, certain office markets will face increased pressure on rents and occupancy. Apartment projections are holding up best among all of the food groups, despite slightly increasing vacancies.
Overall, investors for multi-family and industrial assets are moving off the sidelines while many retail and office investors remain cautious.