U.S. bonds backed by commercial real-estate loans are soaring, and the time to buy is now as the sector just begins its recovery, analysts say.
The prices of bonds backed by loans for office buildings, shopping complexes, hotels and other developments are rising thanks to investors who feel the commercial real-estate sector is bottoming out and that issuers are less likely to default, the Financial Times reports.
"I would hesitate to say that everything is fantastic in commercial real estate," Alan Todd, head of commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) research at JPMorgan, tells the Financial Times.
"However, there are definitive signs that the rate at which problems are occurring is slowing and that refinancing activity is picking up. This is contributing to the strong CMBS market rally."
In 2011 so far, risk premiums on these securities over U.S. government bonds have hit their lowest in over two years.
A large number of securities deals are lining up.
By the end of February, $10 billion of new deals are expected to roll out, just shy of the total sold during all of 2010, according to JPMorgan.
Commercial real estate markets across the country improved or even stabilized during the fourth quarter of last year, according to Moody's Investors Service.
"The commercial real-estate markets are continuing down the road to recovery, though the fact that most markets remain yellow indicates that a comfortable point of stability has not yet been reached," says Moody's Vice President Keith Banhazl, according to Dow Jones Newswires, with a yellow score indicating improving strength.
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