The commercial property market is far from recovery and needs job growth, sustained low interest rates and further government support, said GE Capital Real Estate's chief executive, Ronald Pressman.
"We're a long way from where we'd like to be," Pressman said at the Urban Land Institute's annual meeting in San Francisco last week. "The stakes are very big here."
Commercial real estate won't stop falling for 18 to 24 months after the economy bottoms out, as the full effect of the recession hits landlords, Pressman said in an interview at the San Francisco event.
The unemployment rate needs to drop to 5% to 6% before the property market rebounds, according to his presentation.
Joblessness rose to 9.8% in September, the highest since 1983.
Real estate was the $631 billion-asset GE Capital's only unit to record a third-quarter loss as the finance arm of General Electric Co. scaled back lending and transactions.
"We think we're early in the game as far as real estate markets reaching stability," Pressman said.
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York's Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility program has been a "strong, but not really effective" effort to jump-start credit markets, Pressman said.