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George Soros Slags Commercial Real Estate

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What does George Soros know about commercial real estate?

I haven't ever heard of him doing much in this sector. But given that he's invested in pretty much everything, he must have some money in commercial real estate. Anyway, Soros thinks commercial property values in the U.S. will drop at least 30 percent.

“Commercial real estate has not yet fallen in value,” Soros, speaking at a forum in Washington, said. “It is inevitable, it is written, everybody knows it, there are already some transactions which reflect and anticipate it, so we know, they will drop at least 30 percent.”

U.S. commercial real estate values have fallen 30 percent from the 2007 peak as cheap financing disappeared and the recession reduced occupancies, RREFF, the real estate investment unit of Deutsche Bank AG, said yesterday in its 2009 forecast. Total returns in a commercial property index used by pension funds may decline as much as 11 percent this year, the group said.

Soros, 78, said the risk of further declines in property prices is reason for the administration of President Barack Obama to move quickly to recapitalize banks. Soros said Obama acted too slowly on a banking overhaul and should have moved immediately upon taking office.

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Elaine Misonzhnik

Senior associate editor Elaine Misonzhnik has been writing for National Real Estate Investor since June 2006 and has covered commercial real estate for more than 12 years. She first became...
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