US office buildings face $117BN debt time bomb

About $117 billion is expected to be due this year and needs to be repaid or refinanced.

  • A big chunk of it is at risk of defaulting and costing banks and developers huge sums, sending some into insolvency.

Commercial mortgages, unlike home loans, are almost always paid interest-only, leaving the original price to be paid at the end, or refinanced to start the process again.

  • At the same time, revenue from office space fell as many businesses downsized their premises as many of their staff were working from home since the pandemic.
  • Economists last month found 40% of office loans on bank balance sheets were underwater – owing more than the property is worth.

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