Anyone watching the financial markets during the past year would know that high interest rates are slowing the economy and putting the squeeze on many commercial real estate owners, who are struggling to repay their mortgages. Some owners with adjustable-rate mortgages or maturing loans are dealing with reduced cash flows and other issues.

These factors may force them to unload their properties at bargain prices in the near future if they are unable to restructure their mortgages. While these circumstances have proven difficult for some property owners, they have also provided opportunities for investors who have the capital and the expertise to buy distressed properties. The question for commercial mortgage brokers whose clients want to buy real estate then becomes, which of these distressed property types is the most favorable to their needs? One category not to be overlooked is retail — specifically, open-air community and neighborhood shopping centers.

Gary Rappaport

Author Dee Singletary

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