Thursday, April 23, 2009

Fitch Forecasts U.S. House Prices to Drop Another 12.5% Before Hitting Bottom

NEW YORK, NY, (Business Wire)--U.S. home prices will fall an additional 12.5% from 2008's year end values before exhibiting more stability in late 2010, according to Fitch Ratings.

This forecast reflects a reversion to early 2002's prices. Currently, prices are hovering around levels seen in mid 2003.

Fitch revised its projection from earlier expectations of a 10% further decline as of second quarter-2008 (2Q'08).

The revision to Fitch's October 2008 forecast is due to the extremely weak economic factors in the fourth quarter of 2008, said Group Managing Director and U.S. RMBS group head Huxley Somerville.
"Very weak employment, limited re-financing opportunities and turbulent financial markets have extended into the first months of 2009, while government initiated programs have yet to yield any positive benefits,' said Somerville.

To date, national home prices have declined by 27%. Fitch's revised peak-to-trough expectation is for prices to decline by 36% from the peak price achieved in mid-2006.

The additional 9% decline represents a 12.5% decline from today's levels.

The 36% peak-to-trough decline is up from the forecast 30% decline reported in October 2008.

Fitch believes that most of the correction will be incurred in the next two years, with prices exhibiting more stability from late 2010.

Fitch's forecast analysis assumes 1.5% inflation rate for 2009 and 2010 and 3% for the following three years.

Within the next few weeks, Fitch will release a state-by-state forecast of home price declines.
Fitch's forecast is primarily based on its expectation that home prices will return closer to the long-term historical mean, which has been the pattern of prior home price cycles.

Given the volatile economic conditions, Fitch will continue to review its forecasts to ensure they are still accurate and provide updates every six months.

Fitch's revised forecast will be incorporated in all new RMBS analysis, as well as the surveillance of existing Fitch-rated RMBS transactions.

Contacts :
Fitch Ratings, Huxley Somerville, 212-908-0381

Kei Ishidoya, 212-908-0238 (New York)

Media Relations: Sandro Scenga, 212-908-0278 (New York)

The Sheraton Columbia Town Center Hotel is Reinvented Following Extensive $12M Transformation

COLUMBIA, MD – The Sheraton Columbia Town Center Hotel, (top right photo) wholly-owned and operated by Interstate Hotels & Resorts, announced the completion of a comprehensive $12 million renovation, with all 290-guest rooms and public spaces entirely transformed.

Exterior upgrades such as painting, entrance enhancements, and landscaping will be concluded this summer.

Inspired by serene lake views that are visible throughout the property, the hotel’s public spaces and guest rooms reflect the organic beauty found just outside its doors.

Accented with elements of natural wood, stacked stone and water, the design carries the tranquility of the outdoors throughout the lobby, public areas, meeting spaces and guest rooms.

Environmentally conscious upgrades to lighting, heating and cooling systems were also part of the property improvements, increasing energy efficiency throughout the hotel.

“We are delighted to share all these new elements with our guests,” said General Manager Orkun Aydin. “This hotel is unlike any other property in Columbia. The exceptional architectural and design features inspired by nature provide a higher level of style and atmosphere for our guests.

These renovations,” continued Aydin, “coupled with our already high service standards, completely transform the experience.”

All 290-newly revitalized guest rooms and suites feature the signature Sheraton Sweet Sleeper™ Bed, which boasts a multi-layered, lavishly plush custom designed bed, feather down pillows, crisp cotton sheets and signature blanket and duvet.

Other features include flat-screen LCD televisions, spacious work desks, ergonomic chairs, completely remodeled bathrooms with granite, wood and brushed nickel accents, Bliss® bath amenities, and in-room Starbucks® coffee and tea.

The property’s renaissance also includes a brand new fitness center with ergonomic flooring, new equipment with private flat-screen televisions on each cardio machine, superior ventilation, and vibrant colors. Guests can mix, mingle and meet in the Lobby Lounge, serving light fare among panoramic lake views. The signature lakeside Waterside Restaurant features a private dining room and exceptional cuisine for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a popular Sunday brunch.

Julie Tullbane, Daly Gray Public Relations, T 703-435-6293, F 703-435-6297,

Orkun Aydin, General Manager, Sheraton Columbia Town Center Hotel, (410) 730-3900 /

George Livingston: Last Quarter was The Worst, This One will be Better, Positive Growth should start by December

MAITLAND, FL--- The first quarter of 2009 was the worst of the recession, according to longtime area market analyst George Livingston, (top right photo) chairman emeritus of Orlando-area based NAI Realvest.

“The current quarter will be less bad, and we’re already seeing signs of improvement, but we won’t see positive growth until the last quarter of this year or the first quarter of next year,” Livingston said.

“Initial recovery will be slow, full recovery won’t occur until well into the next decade,” Livingston said.

“Consumer confidence is low but it is getting better, and the same can be said for business confidence,” Livingston said.
(Downtown Orlando office buildings, middle left photo)

“Profits are improving in some cases. Banks should do better as we move forward and the third quarter should see broad improvement in corporate earnings,” he said.

Livingston said housing should bottom by year-end, and recovery will be slow due to the drag of foreclosures. “When the housing market recovers, we won’t see the sort of peaks we’ve seen in the past,” he said.

The reason? “Unemployment will continue to increase through year-end,” Livingston said. “Job creation will be slow.

Economic trends will continue to have a negative effect on most commercial real estate sectors, Livingston added, including retail, office, warehouse and distribution.

“Rental apartments should be among the first to recover,” Livingston said.

For more information, please contact:

George Livingston, Chairman Emeritus, NAI Realvest 407-875-9989;

Janice Paiano, Director of Marketing, NAI Realvest

Larry Vershel or Beth Payan, Larry Vershel Communications, 407-644-4142
(SunTrust Bank Tower, Tampa, FL, bottom right photo)

Arbor Closes $1,689,400 Fannie Mae DUS® Small Loan for Creekview Apartments in Scottdale, GA

UNIONDALE, NY--Arbor Commercial Funding, LLC (“Arbor”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Arbor Commercial Mortgage, LLC, announced the recent funding of a $1,689,400 loan under the Fannie Mae DUS® Small Loan product line to finance the 42-unit complex known as Creekview Apartments in Scottdale, GA.

The 10-year loan amortizes on a 30-year schedule and carries a note rate of 6.03 percent.

The loan was originated by Jay Porterfield, (top right photo) Vice President, in Arbor’s full-service Plano, TX lending office.

“As the original lender was unable to complete the transaction, Arbor was able to step in and quickly underwrite this loan by working with the existing third-party reports and close the loan,” Porterfield said.

“We were pleased to have the opportunity to provide the borrower with a smooth and expedited solution.”

Contact: Ingrid Principe. P: 516.506.4298, F: 516.542.2555

Plaza Advisors Announces Its Third Shopping Center Sale of 2009

TAMPA, FL--Plaza Advisors is pleased to announce the sale of the Village Shopping Center (top left photo) in Jacksonville, Florida.

The center totals 135,453 square feet and is anchored by Publix and a Bealls Outlet.

The project, built in 1989, is located at the intersection of Blanding Boulevard and College Drive in the city of Orange Park.

The property was 98% occupied at the time of sale and included several recognizable tenants such as Dollar Tree, Subway, Papa Johns Pizza, GNC, The UPS Store, Allstate, Fantastic Sams, and Sally Beauty Supply.

Plaza Advisors represented both parties in the Village Shopping Center transaction and co-managing partners Jim Michalak (middle right photo) and Anthony Blanco, (middle left photo) together with Senior Financial Analyst Lenard Williams (bottom right photo) were involved in the engagement.

The seller and buyer were BG Village LLC and Noble Management Company, respectively.

The sale of Village Shopping Center is the third transaction for Plaza Advisors in 2009. Earlier this year, Plaza Advisors sold Regency Village, a Publix-anchored center located in Orlando and Belleair Bazaar, a Bonefish Grill-anchored center in the Clearwater area.

Plaza Advisors, with offices in Tampa and Miami, is a real estate brokerage firm that specializes in the disposition of anchored shopping center properties in the southeastern United States.

Plaza Advisors clients include private equity, developers, and major institutions including pension funds, servicing agents, life insurance companies, REITs, and money center banks.

Co-managing partners Jim Michalak and Anthony Blanco have a combined 35 years investment brokerage experience. The duo has closed over 140 shopping center transactions, with a combined GLA exceeding 15 million square feet with an aggregate sales volume in excess of $2 billion.


Jim Michalak
Managing Partner
Plaza Advisors
3412 Bay To Bay Boulevard
Tampa, FL 33629
813.837.1300 Ext. 101
Fax 831.2627

Anthony Blanco
5201 Blue Lagoon Drive, Suite 846
Miami, FL 33126
PH: 305-629-3606
FAX: 305-647-6441