The 2007 US economic slowdown

The Free Liberal
by Fred E. Foldvary

02/05/08

High rentals and purchase prices for commercial real estate increases costs for enterprise, which reduces its profits, and thus results in less economic investment. In a global economy, many enterprises cannot raise prices by as much as the increase in costs. Furthermore, even though the Fed has lowered short-term interest rates, the huge mortgage loan losses has drained banks of loanable funds, and borrowing has become riskier, which reduces credit availability. All these elements point to a crumbling of the commercial real estate market in 2008. Even in the booming Manhattan real estate market, the rise in office rentals has slowed, and the credit contraction has made it more difficult to obtain loans for purchasing condominium offices. Apartment rentals have risen as folks who now can’t buy a house are renting instead. But as unemployment rises, then those laid off will move to more crowded and less expensive dwellings, vacancies will rise, and the price of apartment buildings will fall. Less business will also result in less hotel use. Lower sales volumes will reduce rentals and prices for shopping centers...

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Informant: Thomas L. Knapp



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