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Saturday, February 6, 2010

Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) Sold Their Underwater DC Offices for a Song: And These are the Experts?

Now you see why you especially can't trust "expert" realtors. I keep hearing realtors say, "don't worry, the market will turn around and your house will be worth what it once was." I laugh like hell. Suckers. And I'm sick of feeling sorry for people. How you could have believed that your house should continue its fortuitous rise to the proverbial pricing cash cow stars was always beyond me. IJIOTS! Two sticks and a cinder block ain't worth more than what some fool will pay for it and we're all subprime now.
Mortgage bankers group sells D.C. offices to Bethesda company
Even the pros are taking a beating. The Mortgage Bankers Association, its membership expert in real estate, sold its $90 million headquarters in downtown Washington on Friday for $41 million.
The three-year-old, 10-story building at 1331 L St. NW -- built just before the office market soured -- was bought by the CoStar Group, a commercial real estate information firm that plans to move its headquarters from Bethesda to the District. The city, which has been negotiating with CoStar for several months, offered the company a $6 million break on its property taxes to lure it from Maryland.
"We have a huge demand for space for our headquarters. This was too great an opportunity to pass up," said Andrew Florance, chief executive of CoStar Group. "It's a quality building at a rock-bottom price," he added. "We think we'll save tens of millions of dollars over the next decade."

The sale comes as commercial real estate troubles are rapidly multiplying in the Washington area. At least 20 percent of commercial properties in the region are worth less than their mortgages, experts say, compared with less than 1 percent before the recession.
The Mortgage Bankers Association moved into the building in 2008 just as the real estate market was crashing, and ended up paying millions of dollars more when interest rates rose. Moreover, the leasing market slowed considerably and the association had trouble getting other tenants into the 168,000-square-foot building.
The industry lobbying group has struggled financially in recent years, as the market collapsed and lending dried up, with members dropping out as they lost their jobs. Its membership fell to 2,500 from 3,000, officials said in 2008.

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