While commercial real estate has its problems, the sector isn’t headed for a crash, says property icon Donald Trump.
“Commercial real estate will be severe, but nothing like the housing (crisis) that almost imploded our whole economy,” he says.
The industry was actually in worse shape during the last downturn of the early 1990s, Trump says.
“We don’t have that much supply compared to 1990. The commercial real estate problem is largely a question of financing it.”
Banks just aren’t willing to fund commercial real estate projects, no matter who you are, Trump told CNNMoney.com.
“The banks took all this money from the government, but they don’t lend it.”
That will make it difficult for developers to refinance their existing loans over the next couple years, he says.
“The government has to get involved to make sure banks lend money.”
As for Trump’s own activity, “Lately, because we’re in a very strong position. We’ve been buying a lot of things that frankly I never thought would be buyable,” he said.
“It’s a time when if you have cash, you can make some fantastic deals.”
Some experts say investors thinking like Trump already have driven real estate investment trusts (REITs) too high.
"Commercial-mortgage REITs are generally rallying far beyond any rational valuation at this stage," Stifel Nicolaus analyst David Fick told The Wall Street Journal.
"It is difficult to make a case that any of them have positive equity value."
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