Headlines – Week of August 22, 2010

August 27, 2010

Continuing CMBS Woes

In last week’s Headlines posting, I reported on a Globest.com article about CMBS loans maturing during 2010.  This week brings more news from Globest.com about the avalanche of CMBS loans due in 2011.

According to sources from Fitch Ratings, 198 fixed rate commercial loans, with a total unpaid balance of $26.5 billion, are scheduled to mature in 2011. Of those loans, $4.7 billion, or 17.9%, are already in special servicing.

One-third of the loans are secured by retail properties, 29.4% by office and 16.4% by multifamily. The ratings agency says it believes loans secured by office, retail and hotel properties are the most challenging to refinance.

By date of origination, 34.7% of next year’s maturing loans are from 2001, followed by 33.7% from 2006 and 13.2% from 2007.  Fitch expects higher default rates among the ’06 and ’07 loans, partly due to the fact that the older loans have the advantage of a decade’s worth of amortization and partly because the newer loans carry a higher LTV.  The article notes that 83% of the loans that went into special servicing in July were from more recent vintages.

The cumulative loss severity rate will continue to rise from 35.4% as more loans from the 2006-2008 period of CMBS at relatively higher losses. Reasons for the higher losses from these years include lax underwriting standards, the absence of amortization and other loan structural features, historically low capitalization rates, current reduced market liquidity and the general impact of the economic downturn.

Full Article

100,000 Bank Repos in South Florida Since 2007

According to an article published by CondoVultures.com, more than 100,000 properties – or an average of 2,300 per month – have been repossessed in the tricounty South Florida region (Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach counties) since the real estate crash began in 2007.

Lenders surpassed the 100,000 threshold on Thursday, Aug. 19, when 317 properties were repossessed.

For the year through Aug. 20, lenders have taken back more than 33,600 South Florida properties, which already outpaces the 30,400 tricounty properties repossessed in 2009 and the nearly 26,250 in 2008, based on the government records from county governments.

Going forward, Condo Vultures.com expects that the number of bank repossessions to slow since foreclosure filings for the year are down by about one-third in 2010 compared to 2009.

The big unanswered question is whether the bank repos will trigger another drop in the South Florida real estate market.

Despite the spike in repossessions, bank-owned properties still represent only about 6% of the 68,500 residences on the resale market in the tricounty South Florida region as of Aug. 16.

South Florida’s residential inventory has increased on a weekly basis for nine of the last 11 weeks, representing a 5% jump in available product since May 31. Still, the overall resale inventory is down more than 36% from November 2008 when there were nearly 108,000 residences available in South Florida according to the article.

A key reason the number of bank repossessions has increased rapidly this year is the implementation of a new online auction technology being used by the South Florida circuit courts to clear the backlog. The online auction technology now allows hundreds of properties to be auctioned off more efficiently.

At the start of the housing crash in 2007, lenders estimated the typical foreclosure would take about six months to repossess a property at a cost of about $40,000 in the loss of debt service, damage, court courts, and attorney’s fees.

By 2009 as the foreclosure filings were spiking, the process extended out to an average of 18 months with an estimated cost of at least $100,000 per repossession.

Full Article

FDIC Loses $2 Billion on Florida Bank Failures In 2010

The FDIC has lost more than $2 billion on bank failures in Florida in 2010 following the closing of two institutions outside of Tampa on Aug. 20.

Regulators realized a combined loss of $33.5 million with the closing of the Community National Bank at Bartow, with $67.9 million in assets and $63.7 million in deposits, and the closure of Independent National Bank in Ocala, with $156.2 million in assets and $141.9 million in deposits, according to a report based on Federal Deposit Insurance Corp data.

Florida bank failures now account for 14% of the $66 billion in overall losses realized by the FDIC since 2008.

As the losses pile up related to foreclosures, many Florida banks are opting not to do any lending, which is further exacerbating the problem. Banks generate revenue and profits based on originating and servicing loans.

The latest closings increase the total number of bank failures in Florida to 22 this year, reinforcing the state’s position atop the list of the most bank failures in 2010. Illinois is second with 15 bank failures, and Georgia is third with 11 failures.

Rounding out the top five rankings for states for bank failures in 2010 are California with 10 closures and Washington with eight closures, according to the report.

In 2008, regulators shuttered two Florida institutions seized two institutions at a cost of at least $152 million to the FDIC’s Deposit Insurance Fund. In 2009, regulators seized 14 institutions at a cost of $7.2 billion. In the first eight months of 2010, regulators have closed 22 institutions at a cost of more than $2 billion.

Nationwide, regulators have shuttered 278 banks at a cost of more than $66.4 billion since 2008.  These failed institutions had combined assets of $629.1 billion and deposits of $441.6 billion, according to the report.

The 38-failed Florida banks since 2008 had combined assets of $31.4 billion and deposits of $24.6 billion.

Posted by Scott R. Lodde

Headlines – Week of August 15, 2010

August 22, 2010

Office Leasing Rebound Could be Deceiving

According to an article published in the Wall Street Journal and information gleaned from the Studley Report, the office property sector seems to be stabilizing.

However, just as the office market seemed to be turning a corner, the broader economy has suffered a setback that started in April and continued through June.  On a trailing four-quarter basis national leasing activity rose 5.7% (161.3 million square feet).

In many cases, though, tenants are taking less space than they had before. This is due to the reality that they have fewer employees, but it’s also because they have discovered how to use space more efficiently. In New York, for instance, three of the second quarter’s five largest deals involved tenants either taking the same amount of space or less.

Nationally, the overall vacancy rate was 17.4%, the highest level it’s been since 1993.

Office using employment (which includes the information, professional/business services and financial services sectors) is the critical catalyst for office space demand. From peak to trough, U.S. office using employment has fallen by 8.3%. Four markets were hit with layoffs in office-using sectors that were well above the national average.    These were Atlanta (-12.1%); Fort Lauderdale (-11.9%); Orange County (11.6%) and Tampa Bay (11.4%).

At the other end of the spectrum, the two Texas markets, Dallas/Fort Worth (-4.3%) and Houston (-4.1%), as well as Washington, DC (-1.2%), have held up much better than most markets during this downturn.

Analysts and brokers are especially concerned about the hundreds of office buildings that are in precarious financial condition due to the fact that they are worth less than the mortgages that were made during the boom times. Such properties have an intense need to fill space in order to boost rental revenue and, subsequently, values.

Full Article

1 out of 4 renters never plans to own a home

According to a survey provided by Trulia.com, 27% of renters do not plan to buy a home … ever. Of those renters who do plan to purchase someday, 68% said it would be more than two years before they do.

Plans to delay a home purchase or not planning to buy at all could have an enormous domino delaying effect on economic recovery in the U.S. according to the company’s CEO.  Renters converting into buyers are crucial to turning around the housing slump, but the current economic crisis is causing people to become very hesitant to get off the fence and buy a home.

According to the study, many Americans still maintain a core belief in the inherent value of owning a home: 72% believe homeownership is part of their American Dream. While it’s a decline from 77% six months ago, it shows that the American Dream of homeownership is still alive.

Nearly one in five Americans (19%) said that their attitude toward homeownership has grown more negative over the last six months; however, more Americans, 23%, said that their attitude toward owning a home has grown more positive in the same time frame.

Full Survey

Death of the ‘McMansion’ – Is the Era of Huge Homes Is Over?

From 1950 to 2004, the average size of an American home jumped from 983 square feet to 2,349 square feet.   In the past few years, there have been an increasing number of references made to the “McMansion glut” and the “McMansion backlash,” as more towns pass ordinances against garishly large homes, which are generally over 3,000 square feet and built very close together.

However, according to another survey by Trulia.com, that figure is poised to drop for the first time in six decades and declares “The McMansion Era is Over.”

The survey delves into a harsh reality; with tough economic times in the background, large residences are no longer a given. Adults who might buy a house displayed a preference for smaller homes, with only 9% saying their ideal home size is more than 3,200 square feet – the same number of who said they’d like their home to be between 800 and 1,400 square feet. Fifty-five percent of Americans would prefer a home between 1,401 and 2,600 square feet.

Harris Interactiveconducted this July 2010 survey online within the United States on behalf of Trulia between July 22-26, 2010, among 2,055 U.S. adults aged 18 years and older. The sample included 1,345 homeowners and 663 renters.

For a little historical context, 1,200 square feet was the average home size in America in the 1960s. That grew to 1,710 square feet in the 1980s and 2,330 square feet in the 2000s.

What’s more, many in the real-estate business say they think this trend of downsizing, or “right-sizing,” is here to stay. Many believe this is a long-term trend and believe that families with children who’ve been foreclosed upon won’t want to go through these experiences they saw their parents go through.

The follow-up question, of course is what do we do with all the McMansions that have already been built?

The demise of the McMansion has stirred a growing discussion in the real-estate community about the possibility that it may force a dramatic redesign of the suburban McMansion tracts into mini-towns with more practical uses like offices, banks, grocery stores and movie theaters.

Trulia Report


CMBS in Special Servicing Could Top $100B

According to an article written on GlobeSt.com, Fitch Ratings reported that there is almost no way to keep the volume of U.S. CMBS loans in special servicing from topping $100 billion by year’s end.

September brings 126 U.S. CMBS loans to maturity, with almost half of them already in special servicing in the company’s latest weekly U.S. CMBS newsletter.

The maturity breakdown by month through December is as follows:

September: 126 loans; $962 million (43% specially serviced)

October: 159 loans; $2.1 billion (34% specially serviced)

November: 158 loans; $1.6 billion (14% specially serviced)

December: 176 loans; $1.7 billion (16% specially serviced).

At the end of the 2nd quarter, $92 billion of loans were in special servicing, a number that will likely reach $110 billion by December.  There are currently total 5,207 CMBS loans in special servicing of which 63% were transferred due to imminent default. However, Fitch says the ratio of delinquent vs. current loans in special servicing is 60 to 40, and the report notes, that the majority of loans that transfer as current eventually become delinquent.

84% of the total dollar volume comes from loans that were originated between 2005 and 2007, the peak years for commercial mortgage securitization.

Most maturing loans already in special servicing are either delinquent or in foreclosure. This trend is likely continue into 2011, when 2,198 fixed-rate commercial mortgage loans (representing $26.5 billion) mature with 17% already in special servicing.

Fitch expects loans secured by office, retail, and hotel properties from the 2006 and 2007 vintages to be the most difficult to refinance in 2011

Full Article 

Posted by Scott R. Lodde

Headlines – Week of August 8, 2010

August 14, 2010

South Florida home values see nation’s biggest drop in a year

According to a national report by Zillow, South Florida home values suffered the worst decline of 25 large metropolitan areas in the second quarter of this year, falling 15% compared with 2009.

The data in the report indicates the median home value in South Florida (Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties) fell to $146,500, down nearly 7% from the beginning of this year and 52% from housing’s peak values in 2006.

Zillow found that 44% of South Florida single-family homes with mortgages are underwater.  Nationally, 21.5% of homes with mortgages had negative equity in the second quarter.

Nationally, the median home value, including townhomes and condominiums, fell 3.2% from the same time in 2009.

While Florida and Arizona continue to drop, some areas of California such as Los Angeles and San Diego have increased slightly compared to 2009.

Other negative news regarding the South Florida market also came out this week from Miami-based Condo Vultures

In the first half of 2010 as buyers purchased 36 new condo units at an average price of $267 per square foot.

While more than 95% of the 5,100 new condos created in Downtown Fort Lauderdale and the Beach since 2003 have been sold as of June 2010, this year’s average price ranks as the second lowest amount paid since 2003, and represents a 46% discount off of the 2007 peak pricing of $499 per square foot,

In Downtown Fort Lauderdale and the Beach, developers sold nearly 1,400 new condos in 2005, 1,300 in 2006, and 722 in 2007. Sales fell off to in 2008 to 238 and in 2009 to 65.

In another report from Condo Vultures®, nearly half of the 27 new condominium projects developed in Sunny Isles Beach during the latest real estate boom still have a combined 1,300 unsold units available despite steady sales in the first half of this year.

Of the 13 projects with developer inventory, four towers have failed to sell a single unit while an additional five projects still have between 40% and 70% of the original inventory remaining unsold.

The company estimates, that Sunny Isles Beach has about three years of new inventory remaining based on the current sales pace of 37 units per month.

And while no bulk deal has closed in Sunny Isles Beach for new condo product, there has been almost 60 bulk deals for new condos have closed since July 2008 in the tricounty South Florida region, accounting for more than 5,200 units and 6.4 million square feet of saleable space changing hands.

The bulk buyers – about 40 percent are foreign entities – have spent more than $1.5 billion to acquire the distressed units at an average of $238 per square foot in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties.

Recently, an institutional investor acquired 132 units in the Miami condominium Vista Lago at the Hammocks for $161 per square foot, representing a 34 percent discount off the average sales price to date.


Homes lost to foreclosure up 6% from last year

According to a report by RealtyTrac, Inc., the number of U.S. homes lost to foreclosure surged in July, another sign lenders are moving quicker to take back properties from homeowners behind in payments.

Lenders repossessed 92,858 properties last month, up 9% from June and an increase of 6% from July 2009.

July makes the eighth month in a row that the pace of homes lost to foreclosure has increased on an annual basis. Banks have stepped up repossessions this year to clear out the backlog of bad loans.

Initially, lax lending standards were the culprit for foreclosures; however homeowners with good credit who took out conventional, fixed-rate loans are now the fastest growing group of foreclosures. Economic woes, such as unemployment or reduced income, are now the main catalysts for foreclosures.

RealtyTrac estimates more than 1 million American households are likely to lose their homes to foreclosure this year.

In all, 325,229 properties received a foreclosure-related warning in July, up 4% from June, but down 10% from the same month last year, RealtyTrac said. That translates to one in 397 U.S. homes.

Nevada posted the highest foreclosure rate in July, with one in every 82 households receiving a foreclosure notice.  Rounding out the top 10 states with the highest foreclosure rate last month were: Arizona, Florida, California, Idaho, Michigan, Utah, Illinois, Georgia and Maryland.

Las Vegas continued to be the city with the highest foreclosure rate in the U.S., with one in every 71 homes receiving a foreclosure notice in July – more than five times the national average.


Some Experts Conclude the Worst is Over

In some positive news, a recent Reuters poll indicates, home properties in the 20 biggest U.S. metro areas could end up with a small rise in value this year.

However, with a slowing recovery and tight lending standards, most economists predicted it could take at least five years for average home prices to rise to heir 2006 peaks.

Most economists believe a major double-dip in the housing market is unlikely, but they do expect a modest summer decline due to the expiration of government programs that drew demand forward and propped up home values earlier this year.

The poll indicates a pullback could drag average prices down another 4.5% for a cumulative drop of about a third from where home values peaked in 2006.

Home prices as measured by the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city index should rise a meager 0.2% this year, followed by another 1% increase in 2011.

Full Article

Posted by Scott R. Lodde

America’s Pension Problem

August 12, 2010

I recently read another interesting article from John Mauldin in his weekly newsletter, Thoughts from the FrontlineThis article focused on a report from the Center for Policy Analysis which indicates that state and local pension funds are drastically underfunded.  This is another one of those examples, such as the “shadow inventory” of home and condominiums, that foreshadows other major problems for our economy in the coming years.  

Essentially, the report argues that many state and local government pension plans’ liabilities are calculated using discount rates that are not commensurate with the risk they may pose to taxpayers. Accounting standards allow pension funds to calculate their liabilities using a discount rate comparable to the expected rate of return on the funds’ assets.  The reality is that most pension plans and their consultants assume they are going to get an 8% return on their investments. This at a time of a slow economic growth, very low bond yields, and a stock market that may be in for a long-term secular bear market.

Due to the use of these high discount rates, the liabilities of state and local government pension plans are underestimated.  The article notes a recent report by the Pew Center on the States and others that indicates pension assets will cover about 85%of the pension benefits owed to participants. Other studies that adopted lower discount rates have found liabilities may actually be 75% to 86% higher than reported. As a result, taxpayers’ role as insurer may be much greater than anticipated.

If the authors’ calculations are true, state and local pensions are underfunded by $3 trillion.

One of the graphs represents the reported unfunded pension and non-pension benefit liabilities for state and local governments as percentages of the states’ GDPs before adjusting the discount rate:

Seven states — Alaska, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, New Jersey and West Virginia — have total unfunded pension and non-pension benefit liabilities above 15 percent of GDP.

Nine states have reported unfunded liabilities less than 2 percent of their GDP — Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Massachusetts, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee and Wisconsin.

What is interesting is that only two states, Delaware and Florida have pension liabilities that are below zero (negative) as a percent of their states GDP (although Delaware has a very high level of Other Post-employment Benefits).

This bodes well for those of us who live in Florida as a place to retire.  Many other states are on a collision course since pension funding will soon consume 25-30% or more of their tax revenues.

Full Article

Posted by Scott R. Lodde

Headlines – Week of August 1, 2010

August 8, 2010

Headlines – Week of August 1, 2010

California Hotel Defaults More Than Double Since 2009

The hotel segment of the real estate market has been one of hardest hit during the Great Recession.  According to an article published by Globest.com, the number of defaulted and foreclosed hotels in California continued to rise in the second quarter, climbing by 18% between the first and second quarters and increasing by 132% since the second quarter of 2009.  The information in Globest.com was quoting information in a new report from Irvine-based Atlas Hospitality Group.

The survey from Atlas shows that 478 California hotels are in default or have been foreclosed upon, but the company believes the true number of distressed California hotels is much higher, with “over 1,000 properties operating under some form of forbearance agreement.”

Although banks and special servicers are still practicing an “extend-and-pretend” approach to troubled properties, there are signs that both are turning to foreclosure more readily, especially special servicers, who are “being more forceful in taking back hotels,” according to the report.

Many of the defaults are a result of the Extended Stay America from bankruptcy which account for about 20% of the properties on the Atlas default list.

The report notes that of the 100 California hotels that had been foreclosed on as of the second quarter, only 12 had been resold to new investors. At the current levels of sales and foreclosures, the long-term outlook is that the distress in the state’s hotel market would take about four to five years to work through.

 Full Article

STR Reports First-half 2010 Results

According to a report by Smith Travel Research, the U.S. hotel industry reported mixed results in the three key performance metrics for the first half of 2010 in year-over-year measurements.

The industry’s occupancy was up 4.4% to 56.4%, average daily rate fell 2.0% to $97.18, and revenue per available room increased 2.3% to $54.80.

In second-quarter 2010, occupancy increased 6.2% to 60.7%, ADR ended the quarter flat at $97.87, and RevPAR increased 6.2% to $59.44.

The report indicates that first-half and second-quarter U.S. hotel industry performance demonstrated improvement from 2009-particularly on the demand (rooms sold).

ADR growth is slowly improving, primarily at the upper-end, and STR expects continued gradual improvement through the second half of the year.  STR is forecasting full-year 2010 RevPAR growth of just over 5%, driven almost exclusively by occupancy gains.”

In the first half of 2010, 23 of the Top 25 Markets experienced occupancy increases.

Boston, Massachusetts, led the increases, rising 14.8% to 65.4%, followed by Detroit, Michigan (+11.2% to 51.4%), and New Orleans, Louisiana (+10.7% to 66.7%). Houston, Texas, reported the largest occupancy decrease, falling 4.6% to 56.7%, followed by Norfolk-Virginia Beach, Virginia, with a 2.9% decrease to 49.6%.

New York, New York, posted the largest ADR increase, rising 5.4% to $209.42. Tampa-St. Petersburg, Florida, reported the largest ADR decrease, falling 10.7% to $97.98, followed by Detroit with an 8.5% decrease to $75.29.

Four markets achieved a RevPAR increase of more than 10%: New York (+15.2% to $165.56); Boston (+13.7% to $89.39); New Orleans (+12.4% to $81.66); and Miami-Hialeah, Florida (+11.0% to 117.33). Houston dropped 10.0% in RevPAR to $51.60, reporting the only double-digit decrease in that metric.

Mid Year 2010 Major US Hotel Sales Survey

The CB Richard Ellis Mid Year 2010 Major US Hotel Sales Survey includes 42 single-asset sale transactions of more than $10 million each that are not part of a portfolio allocation.

These transactions totaled more than $1.8 billion and include 11,700 hotel rooms with an average sale price per room of $158,000. During Q2 2010, 28 sales transacted for a total of more than $1.1 billion, as trade activity continues to outperform on a quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year basis, according to an analysis written by Daniel Lesser featured on GlobeSt.com.

Notable observations from the CB Richard Ellis Mid Year 2010 Major US Hotel Sales survey include:

  • Heightened transaction activity has clarified capitalization rates, both on a trailing 12-month and projected year-one basis, but offer limited transactional insight as they display a broad range from negative to upwards of 10% for quality assets;
  • Coming off of severely depressed 2009 operating metrics, United States hotel transaction pricing is not capitalization rate-based, but rather predicated on discounted cash-flow analysis that factors in perceived upside during the next several years;
  • Public companies, both seasoned (i.e. Sunstone Hotel Investors, LaSalle Hotel Properties, DiamondRock Hospitality) and newly formed entities (i.e. Chesapeake Lodging Trust, Pebblebrook Hotel Trust) dominate the acquisition landscape;
  • Private equity groups that are exclusively focused on the hotel sector (i.e. HEI Hotels & Resorts, Noble Investment Group, Apple Nine Hospitality) also are actively deploying capital to acquire U.S. hotel assets;
  • The highest price per room paid was $600,000 for the Buckingham Hotel in New York. When compared with the Qatar Investment Authority’s recent acquisition of the Raffles Singapore at $2.7 million per room, U.S. hotel assets are relatively inexpensive.

 Posted by Scott R. Lodde

Headlines – Week of July 25, 2010

August 2, 2010

Homeownership Falls to Lowest Level Since 1999

The homeownership rate fell to 66.9% in the second quarter, down from 67.1% in the first quarter, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. This was the lowest level since 1999.

The homeownership rate reached a record high of 69.2% in the second and fourth quarters of 2004.

Rising foreclosures are driving the decline. A record 4.6% of U.S. mortgages were in foreclosure in the first three months of 2010, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Full Report 

Foreclosure activity up across most U.S. metro areas

Households across a majority of large U.S. cities received more foreclosure warnings in the first six months of this year than in the first half of 2009 according to a report at the Associated Press.

154 out of 206 metropolitan areas with at least 200,000 residents posted an annual increase in foreclosure activity between January and June according to the foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac Inc.

The firm tracks notices for defaults, scheduled home auctions and home repossessions – warnings that can lead up to a home eventually being lost to foreclosure.

The latest figures show the threat of foreclosures is spreading well beyond the top tier of metropolitan areas located in California, Florida, Nevada and Arizona. 

Unemployment is now the main driving force of foreclosures.  

The Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach metropolitan area in Florida received more foreclosure-related warnings in the first half of this year than any other.

Florida accounted for nine of the top 20 metro areas with the highest foreclosure rates.

The number of households facing foreclosure in the first half of the year climbed 8% versus the same period last year, but dropped 5% from the last six months of 2009. 

About 1.7 million homeowners received a foreclosure-related warning between January and June. That translates to one in 78 U.S. homes.  According to RealtyTrac, more than 1 million American households are likely to lose their homes to foreclosure this year.

The latest data included one bright spot: Nine of the top 10, hardest-hit metropolitan areas saw their foreclosure rates drop from a year ago. That could suggest foreclosure trends in those cities, including Las Vegas, Cape Coral, Fla., and Modesto, Calif., may have peaked.

The top 10 metropolitan areas with the highest foreclosure rates have remained fairly unchanged over the past 12 months.

The Las Vegas-Paradise, Nev., metropolitan area topped the list with one in every 15 homes receiving a foreclosure warning in the first half of the year – five times the national average. But foreclosure filings declined nearly 9% versus the first six months of 2009.

Rounding out the rest of the top 10 metros with the highest foreclosure rate in the first half of 2010 were

  1. Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla.;
  2. Modesto, Calif.;
  3. Merced, Calif.;
  4. Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif.;
  5. Stockton, Calif.;
  6. Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Ariz.;
  7. Orlando-Kissimmee, Fla.;
  8. Vallejo-Fairfield, Calif.; and
  9. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, Fla.

The Miami-area metro was the only one among the top 10 to register an annual increase in its foreclosure rate.

Full Article 

Banks Reach 100-Failure Milestone for 2010

On July 23rd, the U.S. reached a milestone of sorts as the number of failed financial institutions passed 100 for this year. Seven banks, variously in Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Minnesota Nevada, Oregon and South Carolina, were seized by the FDIC, making the grand total for the year 103–and counting.

In 2009, there were a total of 140 banks that went belly up; this time last year, only 64 had been shut down. Almost every weekend, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. closes a few more and cleans up the mess largely left by bubble-era commercial real estate loans finally dragging their lenders down.

The FDIC had 775 ‘problem’ banks that are at risk of failing at the end of 1Q10, the highest in nearly 17 years. The number was 702 at the end of 2009.

The pace has accelerated as banks’ losses mount on loans made for commercial property and development. Many companies have shut down in the recession, vacating shopping malls and office buildings financed by the loans. That has brought delinquent loan payments and defaults by commercial developers.

By this time last year, regulators had closed 64 banks.

The number of bank failures is expected to peak this year and be slightly higher than the 140 that fell in 2009. Twenty-five banks failed in 2008, the year the financial crisis struck with force, and only three succumbed in 2007.

Full Article

Posted by Scott R. Lodde

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