Have you noticed something? Many office buildings in Dallas-Fort Worth are empty. Actually the office building vacancy rate across the country exceeds 10 percent in every major city in the United States. As more companies experience job losses, bankruptcy and office closures, there is less demand to rent commercial space and in turn less money for the commercial real estate market. Many commercial building owners who are suffering from the effects of corporations going bankrupt have less rental income and are struggling to repay commercial mortgages. To stave off foreclosure many of these commercial real estate companies are looking to refinance; but with the frozen credit markets are finding it nearly impossible.
This is bad news for banks, pension funds, insurance companies, hedge funds and other entities that were sold securities that included these commercial mortgage loans. Could we be seeing more foreclosures in the commercial real estate market? Unfortunately, it may be inevitable as the turbulence in the economy has a ripple effect throughout all industries. What about more bankruptcies hitting the financial sector? If these commercial real estate companies begin to experience foreclosures on a level similar to the residential market, we may see financial sector bankruptcies in places we had not expected. A matter of fact, according to the Urban Land Institute, 2009 will be the worst year for commercial real estate since the commercial real estate industry "depression" in 1991 - 1992. Hold tight, we are in for a bumpy ride in 2009.