Vacancy rates in office buildings exceed 10% in virtually every major city in the country and are rising rapidly, a sign of economic distress that could lead to yet another wave of problems for troubled lenders.
With job cuts rampant and businesses retrenching, more empty space is expected from New York to Chicago to Los Angeles in the coming year. Rental income would then decline and property values would slide further. The Urban Land Institute predicts 2009 will be the worst year for the commercial real estate market 'since the wrenching 1991-1992 industry depression.'
Banks and other financial companies have not had the problems with commercial properties in this recession that they have had with residential properties. But many building owners, while struggling with more vacancies and less rental income, will need to refinance commercial mortgages this year.
New York Times