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Major CRE Players Are Missing Loan Payments While Raising Money To Pounce On Deals

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One of the few sectors to suffer as badly is in 2008 and 2009 is retail.

Multiple global real estate companies are delinquent on their debts, even as they successfully manage to gather billions to start deploying on real estate investments.

Some 11 Brookfield-owned malls, for example, have more than $2B in commercial mortgage-backed securities and are now delinquent or trying to get relief because of the coronavirus crisis, Bloomberg reports. Brookfield Asset Management, the parent of REIT Brookfield Property Group, has raised $12B for a distressed fund.

Colony Capital Inc. is no longer meeting obligations on many of its hotel bonds but has already started raising $6B for a fund that will focus on digital real estate like cell towers and data centers. Starwood Capital Group is behind on payments for more than half of its 30 retail properties, which account for nearly $2B in CMBS debt, according to Bloomberg, but is putting together an $11B war chest focused on post-pandemic real estate opportunities. Blackstone had amassed $46B specifically for real estate deals at the end of June but is also delinquent on repayments on a $274M mortgage for four Club Quarters hotels.

“Just because a prior investment didn’t work out doesn’t necessarily mean that should tarnish the reputation for future endeavors,” Bank of America Securities head of U.S. CMBS Research Alan Todd told Bloomberg. “It’s not like something was done in bad faith.” 

The CMBS market has been struggling through the pandemic, with the delinquency rate at nearly 10% last month, per Trepp Analytics. Some investors now fear that parties will now be looking at those deals for underwriting errors to see if there is room for litigation, Bisnow reported earlier this month.

Meanwhile, lending for commercial real estate deals through CMBS and other nonbank, non-life company sources has slowed significantly. Just 1% of commercial real estate lending was via CMBS in the second quarter, per a CBRE survey.