Commercial Real Estate

| Sun Dec. 21, 2008 10:41 PM PST

COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE....The residential real estate market imploded two years ago, and the commercial real estate market has never been very far behind. Now big property developers are looking at their own armageddon and have started heading to Washington to get a piece of the bailout action:

They're warning policymakers that thousands of office complexes, hotels, shopping centers and other commercial buildings are headed into defaults, foreclosures and bankruptcies. The reason: according to research firm Foresight Analytics LCC, $530 billion of commercial mortgages will be coming due for refinancing in the next three years — with about $160 billion maturing in the next year. Credit, meanwhile, is practically nonexistent and cash flows from commercial property are siphoning off.

....To head off some of the impending pain, the industry is asking to be included in a new $200 billion loan program initially created by the government to salvage the market for car loans, student loans and credit-card debt.

...."The credit crisis has got so bad that refinancing of even good loans may be drying up," says Richard Parkus, head of commercial-mortgage-backed securities research at Deutsche Bank.

If the government is bailing out commercial banks, investment banks, credit card companies, car financers, and the entire auto industry, can they really say no to the commercial real estate market? Probably not. But who's next in line after that?

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