US Commercial Real Estate Market Faces Sudden Reckoning Amidst Pandemic Fallout

The US commercial real estate market, valued at $20 trillion, is experiencing a long-awaited reckoning in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. As the value of properties plummets, property owners are being forced to confront distressed prices and come to terms with the reality of the situation. Recent transactions, such as the sale of a Blackstone-owned office building at a 50% discount and a Los Angeles tower sold for 45% less than its price from a decade ago, are signaling a turning point for the market.

The Federal Reserve’s decision to halt interest-rate hikes has created anticipation for a cascade of sales, potentially causing global financial repercussions. With over $1 trillion in commercial real estate loans set to mature by next year, investors are bracing themselves for losses. The crisis extends beyond the US, impacting global investors and banks, who are now grappling with office vacancies and rising borrowing costs.

The magnitude of the crisis is a subject of debate among experts. While Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Fed Chair Jerome Powell believe the situation is manageable, others, such as real estate investor Barry Sternlicht, predict office losses of $1 trillion. As more transactions reveal the true extent of the market’s decline, investors will have to recalibrate their loans to reflect lower property values.

For years, lenders in the commercial real estate market have adopted an “extend-and-pretend” strategy, prolonging loan terms and ignoring short-term valuations during times of turmoil. However, the crisis caused by the pandemic has led to inflation and interest rate hikes, resulting in significant drops in property values. The office sector, in particular, remains heavily impacted by high vacancy rates due to remote work. US cities, including San Francisco, have seen substantial declines in office prices compared to global financial centers like London and Tokyo.

The current situation is forcing lenders to confront the true state of affairs and address the black hole on their balance sheets. As the market moves from denial to acceptance, property owners will have no choice but to sell off assets, and investors will need to reassess investment strategies in light of the new reality. The aftermath of the pandemic has truly brought about a transformative period for the US commercial real estate market.


連邦準備制度理事会(Federal Reserve)が利上げを停止したことにより、売却の連鎖が予想され、世界的な金融的影響が生じる可能性があります。来年までに1兆ドル超の商業不動産ローンが満期を迎える見込みであり、投資家は損失に備えています。この危機は米国にとどまらず、オフィスの空室率と借入コストの上昇に直面している世界の投資家や銀行にも影響を与えています。

この危機の大きさについては、専門家の間で議論があります。財務長官ジャネット・イエレン(Janet Yellen)や連邦準備制度理事会議長ジェローム・パウエル(Jerome Powell)は、この状況は管理可能だと考えていますが、不動産投資家のバリー・スターンリヒト(Barry Sternlicht)などは、オフィスの損失が1兆ドルになると予測しています。さらなる取引が市場の衰退の真の広がりを明らかにするにつれて、投資家は低い不動産価値を反映するためにローンを再調整しなければならなくなるでしょう。




1. 混乱価格 (distressed prices): 現在の状況によって引き起こされた不動産価格の急落。低価格で取引される可能性がある。

2. 満期 (mature): ローンなどの契約が期間満了になること。商業不動産ローンが満期を迎えると、返済が必要となる。

3. 金融センター (financial centers): 世界的に重要な金融業務が集中している場所。ロンドンや東京などが代表的な金融センターとされる。

4. バランスシート (balance sheet): 企業や個人の財務状況を表す財務諸表の一つ。資産と負債のバランスを示す。


連邦準備制度理事会(Federal Reserve)