Distressed Real Estate Debt Doubles

Green Street’s Real Estate Alert reports that nonperforming commercial real estate debt on the biggest banks’ balance sheets doubled last year but remains a sliver of total holdings — dashing hopes of a buying spree for opportunistic investors, at least for now. Amid the downturn sparked by the pandemic last year, non-performing loans made up 0.86% of the commercial mortgages on the balance sheets of the 325 largest U.S. banks at yearend, up from 0.41% a year earlier, according to regulatory data compiled by Trepp Bank Navigator. The figure has remained below 1% since 2015 and is a fraction of the all-time peak of 8.6% hit in 2010. The low levels of bad debt are due in part to a host of forbearance measures implemented to assuage the effects of shutdowns enacted to curb the virus’s spread. As those accommodations expire, however, the level of troubled debt is expected to tick higher, stoking optimism that more distressed opportunities could shake loose down the road. All told, the top banks have just $15.4 billion of nonperforming loans on their books. There is another $2.1 billion of foreclosed properties, but 20% of that total belongs to just one regional bank in Texas focused on distressed loans. Meanwhile, hundreds of billions of dollars have been raised for opportunistic and distressed investing — drastically skewing the supply-demand curve and helping support property values. Click to read more at www.greenstreet.com.