April 05, 2012 at 14:30 PM EDT
Distressed loan sales lifting off
Sales of bank loans with a value of under $10 million on properties around town are booming as investors seek to put money they have raised to invest in real estate-related assets to work here, brokers say. “There has been a flight to quality and that means there is a focus on New York,” said David Schechtman, a principal at Eastern Consolidated. Mr. Schectman says he has been selling roughly two notes a week since the beginning of the year, a trend fueled partially by lenders' increased willingness to selectively finance the acquisition of such dud loans. Just last week, Mr. Schechtman sold two distressed loans in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn to two different private investors. He sold a loan on a residential building at 808-810 Myrtle Ave. with a balance of $6.4 million for $3.5 million. He also sold a loan on industrial buildings on 76-78 Stanford St. and 73-93 Walworth St. with a total balance of $5.8 million for $3 million. And while these were sold at discounts because the properties haven't been foreclosed on yet, Mr. Schechtman says that overall these days investors aren't finding huge bargains. One reason is that there are a lot more players out there looking to buy notes. “There was a lot of money raised to buy distressed notes,” said Robert Knakal, chairman of Massey Knakal Realty Services. On the other hand, he reports that he is also getting more calls from banks and other lenders interested in selling distressed loans. For example, Prudential Insurance just tapped him to sell a note on two adjacent apartment houses at 217-227 on Haven Ave. in Upper Manhattan. He is expecting more notes to pour onto the market.
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