CIBC offloading U.S. office loans at a discount

CIBC offloading U.S. office loans at a discount

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Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce struck agreements to sell US$316 million of office loans in the United States at a discount.

The bank reached deals with multiple buyers for loans backed by eight U.S. offices in cities including San Francisco, Seattle, Phoenix and Austin, according to a person with knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be named because the process is private.

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A spokesperson for CIBC declined to comment.

Commercial-property owners and lenders have been struggling as higher interest rates wallop valuations for buildings. Offices in particular have been hit hard, with a measure of prices falling 16 per cent in the 12 months through April, according to real estate data analytics provider Green Street Advisors LLC.

With all the challenges, banks have sought to cut back on real estate exposure and eyed loan sales as one way to ease the pressures building in their portfolios. Bloomberg reported earlier this year that CIBC was seeking to sell some office debt.

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CIBC’s latest deals show that investors are willing to take on office loans if the price is attractive enough. Deals have been slow to materialize in recent years, since buyers and sellers couldn’t agree on price and soaring borrowing costs made it difficult to evaluate the economics.

Now, sellers and buyers are seeing more opportunities to transact. Several property deals, including the sale of commercial-property debt from the failed Signature Bank, have shed more light on where values stand. More owners are facing looming maturities on property debt, forcing them to make a decision with buildings, and borrowing costs — while still elevated — have remained relatively stable in recent months.

Bloomberg.com

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