Commercial real estate market starts to perk up
The darkest cloud over the economic recovery — the troubled commercial real estate market — may be clearing a bit. Prices of commercial property are up slightly compared with last fall. Loan modifications have risen sharply the past six months. Commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS), a big funding source that was comatose for two years, has come to life recently. The developments won't alleviate the sector's biggest problem: the rising pace of defaults. But they should contain the damage and provide a lifeline to better-performing properties, analysts say.