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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

A Warning on Risk in Commercial Mortgages

by Calculated Risk on 5/02/2007 11:20:00 AM

From the NY Times: A Warning on Risk in Commercial Mortgages

Spurred by the collapse of the subprime mortgage market, the leading bond rating agencies are beginning to crack down on what they see as risky lending practices in commercial real estate.

Low interest rates and an abundance of investment capital have led to heady times for buyers and sellers of office buildings, hotels and other income-producing property.
“Underwriting has gotten so frothy that we have to take a stand,” said Jim Duca, a group managing director at Moody’s Investors Service. “The industry was heading to Niagara Falls.”

The readjustment is occurring just as signs are emerging that the office market is slowing down nationwide.