Lenders jump back into commercial real estate

Despite an anticipated $120 billion in commercial real estate losses between 2008 and 2011, lenders are ready to get back to business. In a Jones Lang LaSalle survey of 60 banks and other financial institutions at the annual Mortgage Bankers Association conference last week, 24 lenders each said they would make between $2 billion and $4 billion worth of commercial real estate loans in 2010. More than half of those surveyed said they were willing to lend $50 million or more toward a single property purchase, up from the $25 million most were willing to lend for a single asset last year. Some lenders were even open to the idea of $150 to $500 million loans, said David Hendrickson, managing director of Jones Lang LaSalle. While banks are still facing substantial losses, most have already set aside reserves or marked down their portfolios to reflect them, and market experts say the opportunity to pick up commercial real estate assets at discounts of 44 to 55 percent off of 2007’s peak prices, as estimated by Moody’s Investors Service, is luring lenders back into the game. [Dow Jones via WSJ]

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