Your Input Needed to Solve Lending Crunch
members continue to report that developers are unable to get loans for
commercial real-estate (CRE) projects, and many members have had their own
lines of credit tightened or canceled. These observations match the latest
survey of senior loan officers by the Federal Reserve, which the Fed summarized
on August 17.
Fed reported that, out of 55 large domestic banks and 23 branches and agencies
of foreign banks, “The fraction of domestic respondents that reported
tightening standards on CRE loans fell to about 45 percent, compared with 65
percent in April. Still, this fraction is higher than that reported for
[commercial and industrial] loans and all consumer lending categories except
nontraditional residential mortgages. About 45 percent of foreign banks also
reported tightening standards on CRE loans, a slight increase from the figure
reported in April. The net percentage of domestic respondents that reported
weaker demand for CRE loans fell slightly—to roughly 65 percent—but it remained
large by historical standards and relative to other loan categories. About 45
percent of foreign respondents also reported weaker demand, a slight increase
from the April survey.”
“With respect to CRE lending standards, nearly all banks indicated that current
standards were tighter than their longer-term average levels. Around 40 percent
expected standards to return to longer-term average levels by the second half
of 2010 or in 2011 for both investment-grade and non-investment-grade lending.
However, 40 percent indicated that standards for investment-grade CRE lending
would remain tighter than their longer-term average levels for the foreseeable
future, and about 55 percent expected this outcome for non-investment-grade CRE
and rising vacancy rates for office, retail and warehouse space and low
occupancy rates for hotels make most developer-financed properties a risky bet.
Nevertheless, some developers have projects that would be able to pay off
loans, yet have been unable to qualify under current lending standards.
will form a task force to examine whether any additional government programs
are warranted to improve the flow of funds to worthy commercial real-estate
projects. To volunteer for the task force or submit your ideas for what to do,
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