Tuesday, September 9, 2008

SPECIAL REPORT: Ratings On Mortgage Insurers Currently Unaffected By Takeover Of GSEs And Rise In Unemployment

NEW YORK, NY, Sept. 9, 2008--Standard & Poor's Ratings Services today said the announcement by the U.S. Treasury that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (collectively, the GSEs) have been placed into conservatorship creates some concerns for the mortgage insurance industry, but we do not consider the downside risk to be significant enough to justify any rating actions at this time.

(The GSEs were placed into conservatorship by their regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, or FHFA.)

Throughout the current downturn, the GSEs have shown a willingness to work with mortgage insurers when ratings fell below 'AA-'.
The GSEs do not impose any additional restrictions on the four companies rated below 'AA-' (Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corp., PMI Mortgage Insurance Co., Radian Guaranty Inc., and Republic Mortgage Insurance Co.) other than requiring a remediation plan to address the issues that resulted in Standard & Poor's downgrading them to below 'AA-'.
Three private mortgage insurers have ratings of 'AA-' or higher--CMG Mortgage Insurance Co., Genworth Mortgage Insurance Corp., and United Guaranty Residential Insurance Co.

We view the GSEs' current treatment of mortgage insurers that were downgraded below 'AA-' as a significant positive to those companies' competitive position. Therefore, the GSEs' management teams represent a risk, because those teams could pursue a different strategy for dealing with mortgage insurers.
(Republic Mortgage Insurance Co. headquarters building, Chicago, middle right photo)

The GSEs' new management teams' options for handling their relationships with mortgage insurers range from suspending their eligibility to sell loans to the GSEs to imposing the restrictions the GSEs have always had for type II mortgage insurers, which are those rated below 'AA-'.

If a GSE suspends a mortgage insurer's eligibility to sell loans to that GSE, the mortgage insurer's ability to write new business would be severely limited.

Conversely, being designated a type II mortgage insurer by a GSE would probably not have a meaningful impact on that mortgage insurer's competitive position.

Type II mortgage insurers are not allowed to cede business to a captive reinsurer owned by a lender, and type II mortgage insurers must comply with additional ratios and restrictions.

Neither the U.S. Treasury nor the FHFA has taken any actions to suggest a change in the GSEs' counterparty credit policies toward mortgage insurers. Although we believe the risk of an unfavorable outcome is greater for those rated below 'A' than for those rated at or above that level, we do not expect a change in mortgage insurers' ability to insure loans sold to the GSEs.

The U.S. Treasury has said there will be no changes to the GSEs' charters. The imposition of caps on the GSEs' investment portfolio does not pertain to mortgage insurers' core business of insuring loans sold to the GSEs.

Mortgage insurers are providing capacity to the mortgage markets that is critical in today's environment. Therefore, it seems unlikely that the GSEs' new management would take actions that disrupt that capacity.

In addition, Standard & Poor's views the recent increase in the unemployment rate as very unfavorable to mortgage insurers. When we reviewed mortgage insurers in August 2008, our forecasts assumed the unemployment rate would rise to 6.2% in 2009.

The unemployment rate spiked to 6.1% in August 2008. Higher unemployment historically has led to more claims for mortgage insurers. Therefore, if we significantly raise our assumption for unemployment in 2009, that likely would lead to a material increase in our projections for mortgage insurers' losses in 2009 and 2010.

Then, we might also view it as appropriate to take rating actions. However, it is important to note that the monthly unemployment rate can be volatile and subject to revisions.
For more information, visit http://www.standardandpoors.com/.

Media Contact: Jeff Sexton, New York, (1) 212-438-3448
Analyst Contacts:
James Brender, New York (1) 212-438-3128
Rodney A Clark, FSA, New York (1) 212-438-7245

Full-Time Office Jobs Down by 128,000, Grubb & Ellis Report States

SANTA ANA, CA, Sept. 9, 2008--The labor market shed 84,000 net payroll jobs in August, bringing year-to-date losses to 605,000, according to data compiled by Bob Bach, Senior Vice President, Chief Economist, Grubb & Ellis Co.

In the key office-using sectors of information, finance, and professional and business services, losses this year total 352,000 jobs with nearly two-thirds in temporary help services, a category with a tenuous link to demand for office space.

That leaves full-time office jobs down by 128,000, which translates into potential negative net absorption of 20 to 25 million sq. ft.

Absorption turned negative in the second quarter at -3.1 million sq. ft., suggesting more losses may be coming.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Grubb & Ellis

For more information or to speak with Bob Bach, please contact Janice McDill at 312.698.6707.

Supertel Hospitality. Declares Third Quarter Dividend

NORFOLK, NE – Sept. 9, 2008 – Supertel Hospitality, Inc. (NASDAQ: SPPR), a self-administered real estate investment trust, today announced that its board of directors has declared a cash dividend to its common stock shareholders for the 2008 third quarter.

A dividend of $0.12¾ per share will be distributed on October 31, 2008 to common shareholders of record on September 30, 2008.

The payment is equal to the 2008 second quarter dividend and is an increase of $0.0025 from the $0.12½ dividend paid for the same period a year earlier.

Supertel Hospitality, Inc. specializes in limited-service lodging. The company owns 125 hotels in 24 states.

Donavon A. Heimes, Supertel Hospitality Chief financial officer, 402.371.2520

Jerry Daly, Carol McCune, Daly Gray, (Media contact), 703.435.6293, jerry@dalygray.com

Medical Office Portfolio in Houston, TX on the Market

HOUSTON, TX– Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services, the nation’s largest real estate investment services firm, has retained the exclusive listing for the Peakwood Medical Office Portfolio,(top right photo) consisting of three buildings, totaling 204,821 square feet, in Houston.

Tanner McGraw, an office and industrial investment specialist in the Houston office of Marcus & Millichap, is representing the seller, a local doctor partnership.

“The Peakwood Medical Office Portfolio is an excellent opportunity for an investor to acquire three underperforming assets with substantial management upside,” says McGraw.

“The portfolio benefits from recent quality renovations and strategic advantages through its on-campus presence and a sky bridge to the hospital while offering an opportunity to control 20 percent of the medical community.”

Located along FM 1960, the three-building portfolio is situated on 6.51 acres, within close proximity to the Houston Northwest Medical Center, (middle left photo) The Woodlands and Bush Intercontinental Airport. (bottom right photo)

Press Contact: Stacey Corso
Communications Department
(925) 953-1716

Marcus & Millichap Retains Exclusive Listing for Government Office Building in San Antonio, TX

SAN ANTONIO, TX– Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services, the nation’s largest real estate investment services firm, has retained the exclusive listing for a 139,852-square foot office building leased to the State of Texas and the Greater Texas Federal Credit Union in San Antonio.

Alvin Mansour, (top right photo) a senior director of Marcus & Millichap’s National Retail Group in San Diego, and Scott Ryan, a senior associate in the firm’s Dallas office, are representing the seller.

“This offering is an excellent opportunity for an investor to acquire a well-maintained office building that is 100 percent leased to the State of Texas and Greater Texas Federal Credit Union,” says Mansour.

Located at 3535 SE Military Drive,(bottom left map) the office building is situated on 7.85 acres, just off Interstate 37 and experiences daily traffic counts in excess of 15,000 vehicles.

The property is surrounded by national retailers, including Wal-Mart Supercenter, Office Depot, Best Buy, Big Lots and Target.

Press Contact: Stacey Corso, Communications Department, (925) 953-1716

CREC Now Leasing Office Space at One Herald Plaza

50,000 Square Feet Available in Prime Bayfront Location

CORAL GABLES, FL – CREC (Continental Real Estate Companies), a leading full-service commercial real estate firm, has been engaged by Miami Herald Publishing Co. to lease 50,000 square feet of office space at One Herald Plaza. (top right photo)

Located on the sixth floor of The Miami Herald’s 750,000-square-foot building, the office space offers panoramic views of Biscayne Bay, 24/7 accessibility and ample parking in a prime downtown location,” said Steven Hurwitz, (middle left photo) senior vice president, CREC.
“A large-space user can enjoy a high level of amenities in the Biscayne corridor at highly competitive terms,” he said.

Tenant amenities include an on-site cafeteria, 24-hour security, redundant power and fiber connections and after-hours and weekend air-conditioning. Signage opportunities are also available.

Situated just north of downtown Miami, One Herald Plaza is one block east of the Arsht Center for the Performing Arts with convenient transit access through Metromover and Metrorail.

“The building offers a prime waterfront location in the heart of the dynamic Performing Arts Center district,” said Hurwitz. “New residential buildings, retail centers and restaurants are transforming the neighborhood, and creating additional services and amenities for the area’s office workers.” (Biscayne Bridge, bottom right photo)

With a network of offices in all major Florida metropolitan markets, CREC consistently delivers a client-focused comprehensive suite of services that include property and asset management, leasing and brokerage, finance, tenant representation, and construction supervision.

Through an extensive nationwide network in the debt and capital markets, CREC also assists clients and partners with their investment strategies.

Founded in 1989 by Chairman Warren P. Weiser and President Carol G. Brooks, CREC today is one of Florida’s largest commercial firms, managing a portfolio of more than 70 office and retail properties totaling 10 million square feet. For more information, visit www.crec.com.

Contact: Lisa Rosario, Continental Real Estate Companies, 305-779-9490, Lrosario@crec.com

CresaPartners Increases Coverage in Central Florida with Strictly Commercial Merger

ORLANDO, FL— CresaPartners, North America’s largest corporate real estate advisory firm that exclusively represents tenants, has merged operations with Strictly Commercial, Central Florida’s long-standing, solutions-based tenant representative firm.

The merger strengthens CresaPartners’ coverage in Florida, and aligns Strictly Commercial with a like-minded firm with international resources.

“Strictly Commercial prides itself on real estate consultancy, which is not the typical transaction-oriented brokerage mentality,” said John Gay, (top left photo) principal and co-founder, Strictly Commercial. “We’ve worked with CresaPartners throughout the years, and know they share the same mind-set and commitment to tenant representation, which is increasingly rare in this industry. CresaPartners gives us the best opportunity to expand our capabilities while remaining true to our roots.”

“We are excited to be able to extend such a broad range of services—site selection, lease administration, transaction management and project management— to our clients in addition to the personalized representation we’ve been offering,” said Sarah Castor, (top right photo) principal and co-founder, Strictly Commercial.

Established in 1989, Strictly Commercial has worked on a myriad of projects, ranging from securing the right offices for area businesses to large build-to-suits for global companies.

Clients include Precision Response Corporation, Charles Schwab & Company, Independent Bankers’ Bank of Florida, Fiserv Solutions and Fidelity National Financial, to name a few.
“Strictly Commercial has an excellent client base and reputation in the greater Orlando market,” said Bill Goade, (middle right photo) CEO, CresaPartners.

“We’re confident the office will grow and prosper with CresaPartners’ depth of resources and the continued leadership of John Gay and Sarah Castor.”

CresaPartners has more than 125 offices worldwide, including two in Florida. CresaPartners’ new greater Orlando office is located at 221 NE Ivanhoe Boulevard, Suite 330, in Orlando. The greater Miami office is located at 1200 Brickell Avenue, Suite 750, in Miami.

CresaPartners is an international corporate real estate advisory firm that exclusively represents tenants and specializes in the delivery of fully integrated real estate services, including: Transaction Management, Project Management, Relocation Planning and Management, Strategic Planning, Site Selection and Incentives, Subleases and Dispositions, Lease Administration, Capital Markets, and Facilities Consulting.

With more than 45 North American offices, CresaPartners is the largest pure tenant representation firm in the U.S. and Canada.

Through a partnership with Atisreal international real estate group, CresaPartners is a member of one of the leading real estate organizations in the world, covering 35 countries.

For more information, please visit http://www.cresapartners.com/.
Jodi Goldman, National Director of Communications, CresaPartners, The Tenant's Advantage, 200 State Street, 13th Floor Boston, Massachusetts 02109. PH 617.758.6000 main 617.758.6009 direct 617.742.0643 fax http://www.cresapartners.com/

North Fulton CID Expects Worker Population to Double Along Georgia 400 Commercial District by 2030

North Fulton Workers Pining for Park Space, Transit

ALPHARETTA, GA– According to statistics from the Atlanta Regional Commission, the number of employees could double in the commercial district along Georgia 400 known as the North Fulton Community Improvement District (CID).

Stretching roughly from Mansell Road north to McGinnis Ferry Road, the North Fulton CID is home to the shops of North Point Mall, the stores and restaurants of Milton, and the office buildings of Windward Parkway. Currently, more than 77,000 people work in the four census tracks that encompass the CID. By 2030, that number could exceed 155,000.

With no quick fix in sight for congested roads or rising gas prices, workers in the District said they wanted to move their homes closer to work, and have more transit options to get to and through the CID. (The 50,500-sf 1000 Windward Parkway office building, top left photo)

“The overarching goal of the North Fulton CID is to improve the quality of life for the residents and business people who live and work within our boundaries every day,” said Ann Hanlon, chief operating officer of the North Fulton CID. “This employee survey was conducted as part of our Blueprint North Fulton master-plan process and the results are providing many solid ideas to help us achieve our mission.”

When asked about the improvements they would most like to see in the North Fulton area, respondents listed the following five as most important, in order of importance:

More walkable areas
More sidewalks/trails
Transit (light rail) and upgraded bus service
More/better parks and open space

Street appearance
(North Point Mall, middle right photo)

Hanlon said the survey results provide direction for the future work of the North Fulton CID. “What we have heard is that people want to be able to walk from one place to another, they want better transit options and they want to know when they’ve “arrived” in North Fulton.”

Judging from the survey results, land-use planning may be the most important aspect of Blueprint North Fulton. The employee survey pointed to specific mixed-use developments
around North Point, Windward and Old Milton. To describe future development, “mixed-use” was preferred for each of these areas by nearly 75 percent of the employees surveyed.

Almost half (49 percent) of all employees surveyed said they would consider moving to the CID on their next move.

“Employees don’t just want to work here, they want to live in the CID,” Hanlon said. “But, the addition of more residents to the area – and double the number of workers by 2030 – means better roads and a more robust mass transit system.”

Specifically, respondents wanted to see large, regional mixed-use centers with retail shopping, office space and multiple housing options blended together to form a truly livable, walkable community.
These mixed-use communities were thought to be most appropriate in three nodes: North Point Mall, Old Milton (bottom right map) near Kimball Bridge, and Windward Parkway near McGinnis Ferry.


Lawrence Gellerstedt, Jackson Spalding, Image Creation, Cultivation and Communication
P 404.214.3556, F 404.874.6545
E lgellerstedt@jacksonspalding.com

Media Contact:
Patrick Hill, Jackson Spalding, (404) 724-2506