Commercial properties hit by the economic effects of coronavirus could have lost as much as one-quarter of their value or more, laying bare the scale of the damage being wrought across American malls, hotels and other commercial buildings.
Evidence emerging in the commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) market from recent appraisals also raises questions over the value of the collateral backing commercial mortgages throughout the financial system.
Properties that have gotten into trouble are being written down by 27 per cent on average, data from Wells Fargo shows. New appraisals are triggered when a commercial property owner starts to have trouble paying the mortgage, and the loan is handed to a “special servicer” that could eventually seize the property on behalf of CMBS holders.
“It’s a big number,” said Lea Overby, an analyst at Wells Fargo. “This is material.”
Recent examples show hotels being especially hard hit, given the collapse in tourism and business travel. A Crowne Plaza hotel in Houston was valued at $25.9m this month, down 46 per cent from when it was bundled into a CMBS deal in 2014. The hotel, which sits just off the Katy Freeway has not paid its mortgage since March and was transferred to the special servicer in May.
The Holiday Inn La Mirada, about 20 minutes drive from the centre of Los Angeles, was recently valued at $22.1m, down 27 per cent since it was securitised in 2015, having not paid its mortgage since April. Another Holiday Inn in Columbia, Tennessee, had its appraised value cut by 37 per cent this month to $7.7m.
“The numbers themselves are atrocious,” said Gunter Seeger, a fixed income portfolio manager at PineBridge Investments. “A 30 per cent markdown in appraisals pretty much across the board is horrific.”
The number of new appraisals is accelerating. The Wells Fargo analysis covers 116 struggling properties bundled into CMBS that have had new appraisals since April 1 — 68 of them this month.
Of the total, 75 of the mortgages were backed by hotels while 26 were retail properties, whose tenants have been struggling under lockdown-enforced closures and economic weakness.
Banks have been raising provisions to cover potential real estate losses this year, and the number of commercial real estate loans in US bank portfolios that were flagged as being potentially problematic spiked in the second quarter.
Meanwhile, CMBS investors have been keeping an eagle eye on appraisal values to gauge their risk of losses. Over the past four years, the average loan-to-value ratio on mortgages bundled into CMBS has been below 60 per cent, giving investors a sizeable cushion, even if a property has to be seized and sold for the loan to be repaid.
Coronavirus has substantially eroded that cushion, however, and loan-to-value ratio in the average multi-property CMBS is now almost 90 per cent.
“The longer this crisis goes on, we will move into a valuation problem,” said James Shevlin, president of special servicer CW Capital. “It absolutely concerns us but right now I still think we are covered.”
New appraisals are an early step taken by special servicers and help them assess how much time to offer borrowers to resolve their difficulties before they start foreclosure proceedings.
Special servicers and analysts said that it can be challenging to accurately appraise a property in the current environment. The potential sale value over the next few months could be heavily affected by another uptick in coronavirus cases, more stringent rules governing travel and people’s ability to go outside, or even a volatile presidential election. Equally, property values could appreciate if the economic recovery gathers speed.
“It’s someone’s best estimate of value,” said Alan Todd, an analyst at Bank of America. “Right now there is so much uncertainty. There could be a very high margin of error.”
Additional reporting by Robert Armstrong
Canada real estate: TD Economics sees high home prices holding up in fourth quarter before dropping in 2021 – The Georgia Straight
Home buyers looking for a bit of a discount may want to wait a little.
A housing report by TD Economics predicts that high home prices will persist for the rest of 2021.
“Regarding prices, we think they’ll hold up at these record levels in the fourth quarter…,” economist Rishi Sondhi wrote.
Then things will start to ease in 2021.
Sondhi explained that tight supply is driving high home prices.
According to the TD Bank economist, the real-estate market is currently in seller’s territory.
The economist noted that the national sales-to-new listings ratio in September “registered a drum-tight reading” of 77.2 percent.
He noted that “markets were the tightest they’ve been in nearly 20 years in September”.
Sales-to-new listings ratio is the number of sales divided by listings.
A seller’s market means that the sales-to-listing ratio is 60 percent or more, or six sales out of 10 listings.
A balanced market features a ratio between 40 percent and 60 percent.
A buyer’s market happens when the ratio is less than 40 percent, which means fewer than four sales for 10 listings.
In a report on October 15, the Canadian Real Estate Association noted that the national average price of a home set a new record in September.
The average price topped the $600,000 mark for the first time at more than $604,000.
In his report on October 15, Sondhi predicted “some easing is anticipated” for prices after the fourth quarter of 2020.
This is consistent with Sondhi’s previous report on October 8.
The bank economist noted in that earlier report that “unlike sales, an immediate fourth quarter pullback is unlikely” for prices.
“In fact, another (modest) gain could be in the cards,” Sondhi wrote.
“After the fourth quarter,” Sondhi predicted on October 8, “Canadian prices will likely drop through the first half of 2021 by around 7%, before regaining some traction later next year.”
Brookfield weighs US$3B life-sciences real estate portfolio sale – BNN
Brookfield Asset Management Inc. is exploring a sale of its life-sciences real estate portfolio, and seeking about US$3 billion, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
The Toronto-based alternative asset manager is working with advisers to sell roughly 2.3 million square feet of life-sciences real estate it acquired as part of its 2018 purchase of Forest City Realty Trust Inc., said the people, who requested anonymity because the information isn’t public.
A Brookfield representative declined to comment.
Blackstone Group Inc. agreed last week to recapitalize a portfolio of BioMed Realty life-sciences buildings for US$14.6 billion, a deal that will generate US$6.5 billion of cumulative profits four years after investing in the properties.
Life sciences, which includes pharmaceutical, biotech and other medical research fields, is a sector where most staff can’t work remotely. That has stabilized the value of such properties.
Alexandria Real Estate Equities Inc., one of the largest real estate investment trusts that owns on life sciences properties, has fallen 2 per cent this year compared to a 14.6 per cent decline of the Bloomberg U.S. REITs Index.
ULI & PwC to Release ‘Emerging Trends in Real Estate’ Report
An upcoming report on Canada’s real estate market will highlight our nation’s resiliency through the COVID-19 pandemic. Nationwide impacts to retail, office spaces, and suburbanization have been felt hard in the development industry, as landowners, sellers, and buyers are all affected by the trials of 2020. Many in the industry are viewing this as a prime opportunity to reposition their portfolios, so this is among the topics to be covered in PwC and ULI’s new Emerging Trends in Real Estate report.
“The coming year will be all about embracing opportunities to be resilient in the face of uncertainty, while shifting strategies in anticipation of market headwinds,” reads a statement issued by Frank Magliocco, National Real Estate Leader, PwC Canada. “For the first time in a few years, we’re hearing divergent views from industry players about issues like the future of office spaces and the urbanization and suburbanization trends.”
Downtown Toronto, image by Forum contributor Michael62
Set to be released on October 30th, the report’s 2021 edition touches on trends and outlooks in the Canadian and US real estate markets. Among these are specific changes to the market, including breakdowns of specific submarkets. Within the commercial real estate submarket, this includes details on retail troubles, office space uncertainty, and warehousing gains. Within the residential real estate submarket, the report discusses the concept of “creating 18-hour cities across Canada,” environments that combine live, work and play elements, as more Canadians are drawn towards more spread out suburban communities.
“The tension between longer term trends and fundamentals and short-term realities manifests in this year’s must-read report,” reads a statement from Richard Joy, Executive Director of Urban Land Institute Toronto. Prudence, “in the face of uncertainty, while dampening some sectors and trends, is accelerating and expanding others.”
The report is to be launched at the end of the month with an online webinar event led with a keynote delivered by Andrew Warren, Director of Real Estate Research at PwC, which is set to be followed by a panel of local experts panel to be moderated by PwC. The program has been expanded, with this year’s event offering attendees the opportunity to participate in various sessions, including a closing Fireside Chat with Jon Love and Aliyah Mohamed to further explore the economic landscape of the real estate development sector.
Those wishing to attend the ULI/PwC Annual Trends in Real Estate webinar on Friday October 30th, from 8 AM to 12 PM, can register at this link.
Source: – Urban Toronto
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