Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Commercial Real Estate Loan Prices Rise in May

The aggregate value of Commercial Real Estate (CRE) loans priced by DebtX that collateralize CMBS increased to 88.2% as of May 31, 2012 from 88.1% as of April 30, 2012. Loan values were 81.6% as of May 31, 2011. “Commercial real estate loan prices climbed for a fifth straight month in May as underlying market conditions continued to improve,” said DebtX CEO Kingsley Greenland. “CRE loan prices in May benefited from a decline in Treasury yields.”

REIT Returns Slow in Second Quarter

Real estate investment trusts, which have become the darlings of investors over the past three years for their strong returns, are beginning to lose some of their luster, the Wall Street Journal reported. Citing data from the Dow Jones All REIT Index, which tracks 133 trusts, the sector returned just 4 percent in the second quarter, down from 10.5 percent in the first quarter and 15 percent in the fourth quarter of last year.

Blackstone Makes Foray Into Houses

Net Lease Market News Blackstone Group LP (BX), the biggest buyer of U.S. commercial real estate since prices bottomed, is jumping into residential property as housing recovers. The private-equity firm has spent more than $250 million this year buying foreclosed single-family houses with the intention of renting them out, said two people with knowledge of the effort. The goal is to acquire enough assets to potentially take public as a real estate investment trust, or sell to another company or even to tenants, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans are private. The venture marks Blackstone’s first major foray into the U.S. residential market. The company was the top buyer of commercial real estate in 2010 and 2011, spending about $16.7 billion, according to Real Capital Analytics Inc. in New York. Deals included the $9 billion purchase of more than 500 shopping centers from Centro Properties Group and industrial properties valued at $1 billion from Prologis. U.S. commercial-property prices have gained about 26 percent from a post-crash low in January 2010, according to an index compiled by Moody’s Investors Service and Real Capital. In the housing market, price declines are easing. The S&P/Case-Shiller index of values in 20 U.S. cities fell 1.9 percent in April from a year earlier, the slowest pace since 2010. While mortgage rates are at record lows, rental demand has climbed because many Americans can’t buy homes because of insufficient income or bad credit, or because they prefer the flexibility of renting. Monthly apartment rents in the U.S. have jumped almost 6 percent since the end of 2009, to an average $1,018 in the first quarter, according to Reis Inc.