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- March 1, 2013: Vol. 7, Number 3

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No Easy Task: European Commercial Real Estate Loan Portfolio Sales Are Set to Grow in Volume and Complexity

by James Wallace

Deleveraging banks with legacy European commercial real estate (CRE) loan books are expected to sell off as much as €15 billion this year through sales of loan portfolios, as banks continue to exit legacy exposures undertaken in the years prior to the global financial crisis.

While the €15 billion total for 2013, forecast by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), is just a minority of Europe’s expected aggregate CRE deleveraging this year, the figure comes with considerable consensus and reflects a 20 percent uptick on 2012’s €12.5 billion worth of loan portfolio sales.

The majority of CRE loan deleveraging by banks will always stem from the natural run-off of loan books; as loans repay at maturity and as investors sell assets early, as well as consensual sales at maturity and enforcements where required.

Loan portfolio deleveraging, though, was one of the past year’s major European

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