The nation's commercial real estate troubles look like a manageable problem to Morgan Stanley.
A team of six analysts at the firm said Thursday that commercial real estate as a whole is "only a moderate headwind for the economy," and that property values bottomed in mid-2009. They further predicted that the U.S. is headed for a "multistaged" and "gradual" recovery, with values remaining stable this year. The positives, as Morgan Stanley sees them, are building into an attractive distressed-investment environment.
For banks, Morgan Stanley's forecast calls for commercial real estate losses to rise through 2010 and to constitute a "sizeable" earnings headwind for midcap banks through 2012. It also called the challenges of refinancing commercial mortgage-backed securities "substantial," and warned that distressed assets could continue to have declines in value.