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Continuing Economic Woes in the Commercial Real Estate Markets

Rising interest rates continue to be a huge issue for the commercial real estate market. Institutional lenders aren't doing much lending and the pace of commercial real estate sales transactions has slowed to a dribble. CMBS Loan delinquency rates are now in the 3% range, and the portion of such loans moving to the "special servicing" category are approaching 5%. We received good news this week that inflation slowed in December, so let's hope for continuing positive signs from the economy.

Some economists expect inflation to remain stubbornly faster than before the pandemic, while others anticipate a steep deceleration. Some anticipate something in between. Which prospect plays out matters enormously: The speed and scope of the inflation cool-down will inform how high Federal Reserve policymakers raise rates, how long they leave them elevated and how much pain they inflict on the economy. For now, the staggering uncertainty has prompted Fed officials to come out in favor of further slowing — but not stopping — their interest rate increases at their Jan. 31-Feb. 1 meeting. Officials pulled back from their previous three-quarter-point increases to a half-point move in December, and many support raising rates this time by just a quarter-point.