Here is an article on the CMBS market from today's Wall Street Journal (not sure where it's behind a paywall). JP Morgan is leading a $650 million CMBS backed by Vornado Realty Trust, and Goldman and Citigroup are sponsoring a $750 million CMBS backed by Flagship Partners. The proceeds of both deals will mostly be used to refinance existing debt.
The return of CMBS is encouraging for commercial real estate, but not all are able to get access to CMBS debt. The market is bifurcated, and I have heard this from several sources, where property owners in major markets with equity and resources have access to capital, including CMBS, while others are not so fortunate. Here is a quote from the article:
Few expect a rush of new CMBS deals in the near term as the real-estate industry braces for more than $1 trillion of maturing debt over the next five years. While the handful of fresh issues have begun to revive one of the most important funding sources for commercial real estate in the past decade, it will likely provide little solace to owners of hundreds of billions of dollars of office buildings, strip malls and other commercial property now worth less than their mortgages.This also plays into stabilizing valuations for quality properties, in major markets. I'll have more on this in a later post, but drop in value for quality properties has been less than the overall market. So far in 2010, as the article notes, there has been $2.1 billion of CMBS issuance, which is a small amount compared to the more than $200 billion issued in each of 2006 and 2007.