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US to watch commercial property values

US to watch commercial property values article image
The US is now on commercial property watch, following predictions that some offices and industrial properties could lose up to half their value. US bank Colonial Bancorp recently collapsed due to its US$25 billion exposure to declining property values. Chief global economist Ray Torto, of multinational property firm CBRE, said they've seen declines of between 30 to 48 percent: "We are talking about markets adjusting in the neighbourhood of 40 to 50 per cent by the time this is over." Torto warns the worst is yet to hit the market, and will come through the refinancing of debt when the economy starts to recover. "There is no reason for people to sell and the banks are not moving that kind of property through the system, and one of the reasons they are moving slowly on that is because they are very considerate about systemic rescue," he said.

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