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Tags: commercial real estate | retirement savings | investment | gold
OPINION

Safeguard Your Future From the Commercial Real Estate Crisis

Safeguard Your Future From the Commercial Real Estate Crisis

Max Baecker By Monday, 26 February 2024 02:54 PM EST Current | Bio | Archive

The commercial real estate market is teetering on the edge of a financial apocalypse. Grappling with low vacancies, staggering debt, and soaring interest rates, the commercial real estate sector is facing a potential collapse that could undermine a pillar of the economy.  As office values plummet and the specter of an "urban doom loop" looms, economists warn that the simmering banking crisis could reignite.  However, amidst this chaos, there is a glimmer of hope – the protective shield of safe-haven assets, particularly gold, that can safeguard fund values from economic instability.

Commercial Real Estate Apocalypse: Unveiling the Threats

The sharp decline in office values, already plummeting by 31% since the Federal Reserve began raising interest rates March 2022, indicates the severity of the crisis. The pandemic-induced surge in remote work has left office towers vacant, transforming bustling downtowns into deserted ghost towns. 1

Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh, a professor at Columbia University, described this unfolding disaster as a "train wreck in slow motion." He coined the term "urban doom loop" for the vicious cycle perpetuating the crisis. Companies, no longer in need of office space, withdraw from leases, escalating vacancy rates. Landlords, unable to rent or sell, face substantial losses. Property owners are forced to default on mortgages, burdening regional banks with substantial losses. Meanwhile empty business districts drain tax revenues and worsens overall economic conditions. All of which reduce demand and start the cycle all over again. 2

Global financial institutions have identified commercial real estate as a threat to the economy's stability.  "Rising delinquencies and defaults in the sector could restrict lending and trigger a vicious cycle of tighter funding conditions, falling commercial property prices, and losses for financial intermediaries with adverse spillovers to the rest of the economy,” IMF economists explained.3

Alarmingly, the average loan delinquency rate is around 5%, soaring to nearly 30% in midsize cities like Charlotte. 4 The clock is ticking as the stimulus from the 2021 American Rescue Plan delays the impending doom. However, with over $5 trillion in commercial real estate debt,5  including $2.75 trillion in mortgages maturing by 2027, 6 the crisis remains on an inevitable collision course.

Banking Crisis to Worsen

The typical commercial real estate business model is at the core of the problem.  A property is bought with a loan from a bank, usually a regional one. The owners then only pay back the interest on the loan, refinancing when the balloon payment comes due. Interest-only loans as a share of new commercial mortgage-backed securities issuance increased to 88% in 2021, up from 51% in 2013.7

The model worked when interest rates were near zero and property values kept rising. Owners could expect to simply pay off the loan with a new one when the bill came due. But those conditions have changed drastically.

There’s an estimated $1.2 trillion in commercial real estate debt maturing by the end of 2025 8 that will need to be refinanced. Skyrocketing vacancies and plummeting valuations are crashing headlong into record high interest rates. Stricter lending guidelines mean that many landlords won't be able to secure new financing. There will be losses all around as owners are unable to pay back the banks.

Delinquency rates for commercial mortgages, which include office, multifamily, and other commercial properties, have been on the rise for four consecutive quarters, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). Cantor Fitzgerald CEO Howard Lutnick is forecasting up to $1 trillion of defaults in the next two years. “I think it’s going to be a very, very ugly market in owning real estate over the next 18 months, two years,” Lutnick said. 9

Regional banks are in the most danger. They have about $3 trillion of commercial real estate on their balance sheets.10

“Shark Tank” star Kevin O’Leary sounded the warning about the impact of a commercial real estate collapse.

“These banks are going to fail because up to 40% of their portfolio is in commercial real estate,” O’Leary said. The rapid rise in interest rates is what sparked the banking crisis and caused the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and First Republic. Both were overleveraged in commercial real estate. 11

Moody's Investor Services has since downgraded 10 regional banks and are reviewing the status of six others. 12 A consensus is growing that more bank failures appear imminent. O'Leary continued that the ripple effects will hurt investors and small business owners.

Protecting Investments: A Call to Action

Commercial real estate's impending collapse poses a clear and present financial danger, with far-reaching consequences that could jeopardize the broader economy. With massive debts maturing in a couple of years and no clear solutions in sight, the time is now to safeguard investment portfolios. Safe-haven assets like precious metals, particularly physical gold bars and gold coins, offer protection for retirement funds. A Gold IRA stands out as a tax-advantaged method to safeguard wealth against the effects of a collapsing commercial real estate market. To gain insights and information about opening a Gold IRA, individuals can explore American Hartford Gold reviews.

_______________

Max Baecker is the President of American Hartford Gold (AHG), the nation’s largest retailer of precious metals. He leads American Hartford Gold’s mission to help clients achieve long-term financial security with physical gold and silver.

Under his guidance, American Hartford Gold has delivered billions of dollars’ worth of precious metals to thousands of satisfied clients. He has significantly expanded the AHG workforce and opened a third office in Florida.

Max's dedication to upholding American Hartford Gold's industry-leading standards is reflected in its accolades. American Hartford Gold has made four high ranking appearances on the prestigious Inc. 5000 List of America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies. AHG holds an A+ Rating from the BBB and a 5-Star Rating on Trustpilot with thousands of 5-star American Hartford Gold reviews. American Hartford Gold is the only precious metals company trusted and recommended by Bill O’Reilly.

AHG offers investment-grade gold and silver coins and bars at competitive prices. Clients also benefit from its buy-back commitment with no back-end fees. To learn more, visit American Hartford Gold.

Notes:

1. https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2023-08-26/commercial-real-estate-debt-default-risk

2. https://fortune.com/2023/11/20/economist-who-predicted-2008-housing-crash-says-commercial-real-estate-bubble-will-burst/

3. https://fortune.com/2024/01/22/billionaire-ceo-commercial-real-estate-1-trillion-dollars-defaults-howard-lutnick/#amp_tf=From%20%251%24s&aoh=17060015076880&csi=1&referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com&ampshare=https%3A%2F%2Ffortune.com%2F2024%2F01%2F22%2Fbillionaire-ceo-commercial-real-estate-1-trillion-dollars-defaults-howard-lutnick%2F

4. https://www.carolinajournal.com/urban-doom-loop-could-threaten-charlottes-commercial-real-estate-sector/

5. https://www.kiplinger.com/real-estate/real-estate-investing/real-estate-investing-is-down-but-not-out#:~:text=The%20lifeblood%20of%20real%20estate,in%20commercial%20real%20estate%20loans.

6. https://www.globest.com/2023/11/01/lenders-grow-even-more-skittish-as-wave-of-maturities-approaches/?slreturn=20240025130234#:~:text=A%20Q3%20review%20by%20Trepp,and%20%24540.6%20billion%20next%20year.

7. https://mishtalk.com/economics/landlords-face-a-1-5-trillion-bill-for-interest-only-commercial-mortgages/#:~:text=Commercial%20Real%20Estate%20Bust&text=Interest%2Donly%20loans%20as%20a,over%20the%20next%20three%20years.

8. https://fortune.com/2024/01/22/billionaire-ceo-commercial-real-estate-1-trillion-dollars-defaults-howard-lutnick/#amp_tf=From%20%251%24s&aoh=17060015076880&csi=1&referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com&ampshare=https%3A%2F%2Ffortune.com%2F2024%2F01%2F22%2Fbillionaire-ceo-commercial-real-estate-1-trillion-dollars-defaults-howard-lutnick%2F

9. https://fortune.com/2024/01/22/billionaire-ceo-commercial-real-estate-1-trillion-dollars-defaults-howard-lutnick/#amp_tf=From%20%251%24s&aoh=17060015076880&csi=1&referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com&ampshare=https%3A%2F%2Ffortune.com%2F2024%2F01%2F22%2Fbillionaire-ceo-commercial-real-estate-1-trillion-dollars-defaults-howard-lutnick%2F

10. https://insights.som.yale.edu/insights/is-commercial-real-estate-in-for-downturnor-crisis

11. https://www.gobankingrates.com/investing/real-estate/kevin-oleary-says-coming-real-estate-collapse-will-lead-to-chaos/

12. https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2023/08/08/moodys-banks-downgrade/

© 2024 Newsmax Finance. All rights reserved.


MaxBaecker
The commercial real estate market is teetering on the edge of a financial apocalypse. Grappling with low vacancies, staggering debt, and soaring interest rates, the commercial real estate sector is facing a potential collapse that could undermine a pillar of the economy.
commercial real estate, retirement savings, investment, gold
1040
2024-54-26
Monday, 26 February 2024 02:54 PM
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