Saturday, September 22, 2007

CRE: Bought at the top?

by Calculated Risk on 9/22/2007 12:50:00 AM

From the WSJ: Macklowes On a Wire

Mr. Macklowe and his son Billy paid $6.8 billion to buy seven New York buildings from Equity Office Properties Trust. ... the sale was one the most expensive real-estate deals in U.S. history, symbolizing the skyrocketing prices paid for buildings at a time of cheap debt and demand for office buildings.

The transaction was emblematic of the lax underwriting standards of the real-estate boom. Macklowe Properties put in only $50 million of equity and borrowed $7.6 billion, according to the documents. (Mr. Macklowe borrowed more than the purchase price to cover closing costs and other fees.) The deal also had "negative debt service," meaning that the rents from the buildings weren't expected to cover the debt payments for five years ...
Talk about a leveraged transaction: borrowing $7.6 Billion for a $6.8 Billion purchase on properties that have probably declined in value. Approximately $5.0 Billion of the debt must be paid off in February.