Saturday, January 17, 2009

Thomas D. Wood & Co. Brokers $3.2M Mobile Home Park Loan

TAMPA, FL-- Thomas D. Wood and Company, a Strategic Alliance Mortgage LLC member, secured financing in the amount of $3,200,000 for Kingswood Mobile Home Park.(top right photo)

The Tampa Office of Thomas D. Wood and Company financed the loan through the Company’s correspondent relationship with Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company at a permanent fixed-rate of 6.10%.

The loan has a seven-year term, based on a 25-year amortization and a loan-to-value of 35%. The 52-acre mobile home park is located at 10109 Oak Forest Drive, Riverview, Florida.

For further information, please contact:
Jessica Gurtowski (407) 937-0470

Grubb & Ellis's Bach Says Office Market is in 'Orderly Retreat'--Not a Rout

U.S. Office Market First Look: 2008-Q4

SANTA ANA, CA--Bob Bach, senior vice president and chief economist, Grubb & Ellis Co., reports:

· With the office market in the path of a deepening recession, market fundamentals are softening, but at a measured pace. The rate of deterioration is more like an orderly retreat than a rout, at least so far.

· The vacancy rate ended the year at 14.8 percent, an increase of 50 basis points in the fourth quarter and 180 basis points for the year. Vacancy rose by 50 basis points in the first, second and fourth quarters of 2008 and by 30 basis points in the third quarter.
(Colby Abbot Building, Milwaukee, WI, top left photo)

During 2001, when the economy was last in recession (from March to November of that year), the vacancy rate increased by an average of 141 basis points per quarter – hence the observation that the deterioration in the current cycle has been less severe despite the greater intensity of the current recession.

· Only three major markets posted sub-10 percent vacancy rates at year-end 2008: New York City, Long Island and the New York Outer Boroughs – a twist of irony considering the woes on Wall Street.

This is proof positive that vacancy rates do not tell the whole story because different markets have different equilibrium vacancy rates.

Seven markets posted vacancy rates above 20 percent with Phoenix dethroning Detroit for the dubious honor of the softest major office market in the U.S.

· During 2008, vacancy increased by eight percentage points or more in California’s Inland Empire, Austin and Phoenix. Vacancy fell – but only modestly – in an eclectic mix of eight markets led by Greenville, S.C., Wichita, Kan. and Pittsburgh.

· Net absorption stayed negative for a third consecutive quarter, totaling -2.2 million square feet in the fourth quarter and -3.4 million square feet for the year. During the opening four quarters of the prior softening cycle, by comparison, tenants gave back 77 million square feet of office space, another sign that the current cycle has been moderate thus far.

· Three markets ended the year with positive absorption in the range of 2 to 3 million square feet: Boston, Washington, D.C. and Dallas-Fort Worth. More surprising were the fourth and fifth place markets – perennially slow-growth Pittsburgh and Baltimore – which beat out energy powerhouse Houston in sixth place.

At the other end of the continuum, New York City, Los Angeles and Orange County all recorded annual negative absorption in the range of -2 to -4 million square feet.

· Space under construction dipped convincingly by 14 million square feet to end the year at 79 million square feet as construction projects were completed and new starts were rare. Metro Washington, D.C. continued to lead all markets with just over 10 million square feet in the pipeline.

(Bank of America Tower, Austin, TX, middle right photo)
· Sublease space broke through the 100 million-square-foot ceiling for the first time since the fourth quarter of 2004. New York City led all markets with 11.8 million square feet of sublease space on the market, up from 6.3 million square feet at the beginning of the year as contracting financial services companies sought to monetize newly emptied space.

· The weighted average asking rental rate for Class A and B space ended the year, respectively, at $35.80 and $26.78 per square foot per year gross. During 2008, asking rates dropped 1.6 percent for Class A space and 1.5 percent for Class B space.

Effective rates were off more sharply as landlords traded rent, in the form of generous free rent periods and tenant improvement allowances, for occupancy.

In some markets, landlords reduced their asking rates, while in other markets they kept asking rates intact while relying on lower “whisper rates” to attract reluctant tenants.

(One Liberty Place, Philadelphia, bottom left photo)

For the most part, tenants were having none of it, opting for short-term extensions when their leases expired so as to keep their long-term options open.

For tenants with leases expiring in a year or two, “blend and extend” offered a win/win strategy. Tenants benefited from immediate rent reductions for the remaining term of their leases, while landlords benefited by signing tenants to new long-term leases.


The most plausible explanation for the “orderly retreat” of the office market in the face of a punishing recession is that tenants haven’t had enough time to react.

The labor market fell off a cliff in September 2008 with payroll job losses totaling 1.9 million in the last four months of the year, substantially more than the 1.5 million lost during and after the entire 2001 recession.

The office market lags the economy by six months as a rule of thumb, meaning that the vacancy rate could ascend more rapidly in 2009.

The surprisingly shallow decline in occupied space (negative net absorption) recorded in 2008 raises hopes that tenants won’t give back as much space as in the prior recession, although this could be unrealistic given the massive job losses late last year and the prospects for millions more layoffs this year.

(Los Angeles office buildings skyline, bottom right photo)

Expect the vacancy rate to end 2009 in the range of 16.5 to 17 percent, below the prior peak of 17.9 percent recorded in the first quarter of 2004, although vacancy could surpass that peak early in 2010.

Negative absorption likely will total 40 to 50 million square feet by year-end 2009, with asking rental rates off by 4 to 5 percent and effective rates off by 5 to 10 percent with sharper declines possible in specific markets.

CONTACT: Janice McDill, Vice President, Public & Investor Relations, Grubb & Ellis Company, 500 W. Monroe St., Suite 2800Chicago, Ill., 60661, PH 312.698.6707

CBRE Central Florida Multi-Housing Group Closes $171M in 2008 Sales

ORLANDO, FL-– The Orlando office of CB Richard Ellis is pleased to announce that its Central Florida Multi-Housing Group retained its position as the number one apartment brokerage team in Orlando in 2008 with more than $171 million in local sales.
(CBRE brokers Shelton Granada, top left photo. Luke Wickham, top right photo)

CBRE closed more than twice as many transactions in Central Florida as its nearest competitor for the second straight year.

The assets sold ranged from "value-add" opportunities built in the 1970s and 1980s to newer projects built within the last 10 to 15 years. CBRE also sold several "fractured" deals – communities that converted and sold units as condominiums, then reverted the remaining units back to rentals.

For further information, please contact the CB Richard Ellis Central Florida Multi-Housing Group at and

Contact: Angelique Greven 407.839.3158

Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta Awards $43M for Affordable Housing Development

Funding will Create, Improve, or Preserve 4,514 Housing Units

ATLANTA, GA, PRNewswire/ -- Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta (FHLBank Atlanta) announced will award more than $43 million to fund 85 affordable housing projects in ten states.

Local community developers, in partnership with FHLBank Atlanta member institutions, will use $38.6 million of the funds to buy, build, or preserve 4,040 affordable housing units in seven states within its district including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia.

Partnerships in three states (Tennessee, Texas and Louisiana) outside the Bank's district will receive funds totaling $4.4 million to develop 474 housing units.

FHLBank Atlanta has awarded the funds as part of its 2008 Affordable Housing Program (AHP) offering.

In addition, the 2008 AHP funds will be combined with other funding sources to develop more than $330 million of affordable housing.

"Now more than ever, the private investment capital provided by our Community Investment Programs stimulates much needed growth in communities by revitalizing neighborhoods, creating jobs, and supporting economic development," President and Chief Executive Officer of FHLBank Atlanta Richard Dorfman (top right photo) said.

"AHP funds leverage lending by our member banks and other financial partners during a time when credit availability has been limited.

" By focusing our resources on preserving existing affordable housing and financing new affordable housing, our aim is to be a critical resource in confronting the housing and economic challenges many communities within our region are facing during these difficult economic times."

FHLBank Atlanta-AHP awards range from $30,000 to $1 million and will be made in the following states in FHLBank Atlanta's district:

-- Alabama ($3,557,941 for 351 units)

-- Florida ($9,247,136 for 666 units)

-- Georgia ($12,430,908 for 1,359 units)

-- Maryland ($1,490,000 for 178 units)

-- North Carolina ($5,885,815 for 541 units)

-- South Carolina ($4,047,116 for 603 units)

-- Virginia ($1,947,810 for 308 units)

AHP is a competitive funding program that helps develop owner-occupied and rental housing for very low-, low-, and moderate-income families.

FHLBank Atlanta awards the funds annually to member financial institutions and their community housing partners. AHP is a component of FHLBank Atlanta's affordable housing, economic development, and down-payment assistance initiatives.

For the complete list of winners, visit

About FHLBank

AtlantaFHLBank Atlanta offers competitively-priced financing, community development grants, and other banking services to help more than 1,200 member financial institutions make affordable home mortgages and provide economic development credit to neighborhoods and communities.

The Bank's members - its shareholders and customers - are commercial banks, credit unions, savings institutions, thrift and loans, and insurance companies headquartered in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and the District of Columbia.

FHLBank Atlanta is one of 12 district banks in the Federal Home Loan Bank System, which since 1990 has contributed more than $3 billion to the Affordable Housing Program.

Sharon Cook, Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta,+1-404-888-8173,