CRE cliff-diving continues

November 20, 2009

Moody’s/REAL released September data for their commercial real estate price index. Month over month drops have been fast and furious this year.

cre-chart

(Click chart to enlarge in new window)

  • -8.6% Mar to Apr
  • -7.6% May
  • -1.0% June
  • -5.1% July
  • -3.0% Aug
  • -3.9% Sept

Since the peak in October 2007, CRE prices are down 43%.

Residential real estate has been coming back lately, according to the Case-Shiller index. The composite 20 index rose 1.2% in August, after rising 1.7% the month before and 1.4% the month before that.  Again these are month over month changes. The index is still down 11% compared to last year.

There’s a lot of skepticism that this indicates we’ve reached the bottom. Real estate agents will no doubt tell you they have. I doubt many are aware that the GSEs now guarantee a super-majority of all mortgages and that the Fed is printing money to put most of those on its balance sheet. Also ask what they think will happen when the homebuyer tax credit finally goes away next year. Without government support, the housing market wold be a ways down from where we are right now.

As always, keep in mind that the chart above comes with a BIG caveat. The Case-Shiller index is more robust than the Moody’s CRE index. The former is based on millions of transactions. In September, there were a total of 363 commercial transactions, valued at $5.1 billion. Of those, 76 totaling $1.1 billion were repeat sales used in calculating the index.

(Click chart to enlarge in new window)

cre-volume

The market for CRE is as cold as ever. Will the Superdome be included in November’s data?

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CRE, although only 1/4 the size of residential, blows a stiff deflationary breeze at the present.

Efforts to reflate residential real estate are fed by populism that likely does not extend to CRE.

Posted by Dan | Report as abusive