Commercial real estate: some improvement, but turbulence ahead

Recent trends are mixed. Values and sales bottomed in 2009 (charts 1 and 3 below), but vacancies are high (chart 2) and commercial mortgage-backed securities lending, while improving, is still weak (chart 4). “Extend and pretend” is the order of the day at commercial banks, which are digesting $80 billion of losses on commercial real estate loans, and the real challenge is still ahead: $1.6 trillion of commercial real estate loans are coming due in the next eight years.

See Commercial real estate coming back, but unevenly – WSJ.com.

New-home sales: 2010 worst year on record

New-home sales in the U.S. were up 17.5% in December, but 2010 was still the worst year on record for the homebuilding industry. For the entire year, approximately 321,000 new homes were sold—the lowest number since 1963, and 14% below 2009. The December surge is attributed, in part, to a homebuyer tax credit in California.

See Home builders saw weak sales in 2010 – WSJ.com.