Gulf Oil Spill Exacerbates Commercial Real Estate Market Woes

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Commercial Real Estate has yet to hit bottom; nationally, office vacancies rose 30 basis points in the first quarter of 2010. The U.S. national office vacancy rate of 17.3% was the highest in 16 years, according to National Commercial Real Estate Analysts Reis.

Because there's still an estimated $3.5 trillion of loans outstanding and probably another 12 to 24 more months of rent declines, we can expect, and frankly forecast a continuation of commercial property defaults

As if commercial property owners in the U.S. Gulf Coast were not already suffering enough due to economic circumstances, the BP Gulf Coast oil spill continues to only add fuel to their fire.

While much has been made of the attention the U.S. government is or isn’t putting into helping resolve the ongoing Gulf Coast oil disaster, many commercial property owners in the Gulf Coast and nationwide are beset with distressed properties and seemingly left on their own to sink or swim.

Though real help is not readily available to commercial property owners through government sources, there is aid available through private industry but because it is not widely known about, a large number of commercial properties continue to get foreclosed unnecessarily.

"Unfortunately, Gulf Coast commercial property owners are getting hit even harder now. The last time they or this nation suffered such a disastrous combination of commercial real estate factors—a very tight credit market, deflating property prices, deteriorating rents and plummeting occupancy rates, was in the 1990’s. These elements are all contributing to a skyrocketing number of defaults,” Said Jeramie P. Concklin, CEO of Guardian Solutions, a commercial loan restructuring firm based in Florida.

According to Trepp’s latest monthly delinquency report TreppWire, the percentage of loans 30 or more days delinquent, in foreclosure, or REO jumped to 8.42 percent in May— the highest monthly increase since the summer of 2009 clearly indicating the end is not in sight.

“Because there’s still an estimated $3.5 trillion of loans outstanding and probably another 12 to 24 more months of rent declines, we can expect, and frankly forecast a continuation of commercial property defaults," added Concklin.

Commercial real estate is expected to remain a drag on the U.S. economy through the remainder of 2010 and beyond. However, savvy commercial real estate investors unwilling to simply lose their holdings or wishing to protect their assets against further financial decline are taking a more aggressive approach when faced with the prospect of foreclosure.

“The worst thing that a property owner anywhere in the country can do in this economy is ignore his situation and hope that things get better, Commercial property owners need to know that they can take steps to improve their situation and seek help and guidance while the situation is still salvageable; the longer they wait to take action, the more precarious their situation becomes,…” Said Ira J. Friedman COO of Guardian Solutions.

Commercial property owners who want to save their properties or keep them viable are getting results with firms like Guardian Solutions that specialize in commercial loan modification.

The biggest difficulty facing commercial loan modifications firms is that they often have to contend with diversely opposing parties; the goal is to address the concerns of all parties involved. That requires a deep understanding of the situation with the property and requires an in-house staff that can effectively represent the client’s position and come up with a solution that is more acceptable to the lender than foreclosure.

“Using an commercial loan restructuring firm that is appropriately staffed with skilled and experienced professionals is what commercial property owners in distress need right now,” said Jeramie P. Concklin, CEO of Guardian Solutions. “A focused commercial loan restructuring firm can ease the entire process by doing all the work—the due diligence, business plan and negotiations for the property owner.”

Concklin added, “Once fully prepared with every piece of relevant information and a realistic business plan, Guardian Solutions enters into negotiations with the lender to secure the best possible terms for the client, while addressing the concerns of the lending institutions.”

About Guardian Solutions
Guardian Solutions is the one of nation’s largest commercial loan restructuring companies and is committed to helping commercial property owners save their properties. The company’s knowledgeable mediators are experienced in a variety of disciplines to provide customized restructuring solutions. For more information, visit http://www.GuardianSolutions.org.

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Jamie Sene
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