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I've warned on CRE several times over the last 4 months, in significant detail. The mainstream media seems to have picked up on the trend. I will try to keep my readers ahead of the curve on this, primarily by extending the posts linked at the bottom of this article. I will have detailed info in a few days on the short that I have been working on. In the meantime, from wsj.com:

"The credit crunch triggered by the downturn in the housing market is creating problems in commercial real estate, driving down prices of office buildings, shopping malls and apartment complexes, and leaving some owners scrambling for cash.

One victim is Centro Properties Group, the fifth-largest owner of shopping centers in the U.S. The Australian real-estate company saw its share price fall by 90% in two days last week as it struggled to refinance short-term debt it took on to fund its $6.2 billion acquisition of New Plan Excel, one of the biggest owners of strip malls in the U.S.

Centro had planned to pay off the short-term loans by selling long-term debt via the commercial mortgage-backed securities market, but the lack of buyers forced it to get a two-month extension from its creditors. Commercial mortgage-backed securities, or CMBS, are pools of loans that are sliced up and sold to investors as bonds.

 

In another high-profile case, the clock is ticking for Harry Macklowe, the New York developer, who is struggling to raise financing by February to replace $7.1 billion in short-term money he borrowed to finance his heavily leveraged acquisition of seven Manhattan office buildings this year.

The predicament facing Centro, Mr. Macklowe and numerous others underscores the state of the once-unflappable commercial real-estate market. For the past few months, the sector has been in a state of near-paralysis, as financing has nearly dried up. The number of major properties sold is down by half, and many worry that the market will continue to deteriorate as property sales remain slow, prices continue to drop and deals keep falling apart."

This is just a heads up given the trends mention in September, November and earlier this month, namely:

Stay tuned for my comprehensive take on this sector.