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Real Estate in Turmoil: Real Estate's Struggle Against Rising Rates

Mar 5, 2024

Real Estate in Turmoil: Real Estate's Struggle Against Rising Rates

Real Estate in Turmoil: Real Estate's Struggle Against Rising Rates

Key Takeaways

The latest episode of The Bitcoin Layer podcast featured an illuminating discussion with Kelly Lannan, a seasoned real estate professional with a penchant for Bitcoin and a deep understanding of the commercial real estate landscape. The episode delved into the complexities of the real estate industry, with a particular focus on the multifamily and commercial sectors. Lannan shared his insights on the challenges currently faced by developers due to rising interest rates and the resultant funding difficulties.

Lannan's firm practices a start-to-finish approach in real estate development, handling everything from acquiring land to selling completed properties. They've been significantly impacted by the recent rate hikes, which have put many real estate projects on hold and exacerbated the existing housing shortage. The phrase "survive till '25" encapsulates the industry's hope that they can outlast the financial strain until an anticipated easing of rates occurs.

The conversation also touched upon the Taiwanese semiconductor conglomerate building a factory in Arizona, which has had a substantial impact on local real estate and construction markets due to its massive demand for resources and labor.

Best Quotes

  1. "Survive till '25" - This mantra among real estate professionals like Lannan and his firm underscores the strategy of enduring the current economic headwinds, particularly the high-interest rates, with the belief that rate cuts on the horizon will provide much-needed relief.
  2. "If the debt is all bad, then where's all the bad debt?" - Lannan raises a critical question about the state of commercial real estate debt and the reluctance of firms to reveal the extent of their financial troubles for fear of triggering wider market devaluations.
  3. "Extend and pretend" - A term Lannan uses to describe the banking industry's approach to dealing with troubled real estate loans. Banks are either extending the terms of the loans or pretending that the situation will improve, hoping to avoid recognizing losses for as long as possible.
  4. "We're in what would be called the Sunbelt region, where, as people like to say, rents never go down, which is kind of like prices never go down. Not really true, but the idea is that you are able to underwrite and pro forma a project on stable assumptions." - This quote captures the once-prevailing optimism in the Sunbelt real estate market, which is now being challenged by economic reality.
  5. "Nobody has a crystal ball of what everybody's doing because nobody's telling anybody how bad their books are, at least from the banking perspective, what their mark-to-market on their CRE debt is actually worth, what the buildings are actually worth." - Lannan points out the opaque nature of the banking and real estate industries where firms are hesitant to disclose the true state of their finances.


The episode provided a comprehensive look at the intersection of real estate development and economic policy, as well as a peek into the semiconductor industry's influence on local markets. Lannan's expertise shone through as he painted a picture of an industry in a holding pattern, waiting for a reprieve from high-interest rates and economic uncertainty.

While the discussion was heavily focused on the challenges and survival strategies in the real estate sector, it also highlighted the resilience and adaptability of businesses in the face of adversity. The overarching message seems to be one of cautious optimism, with the hope that the situation will stabilize and eventually improve, allowing the industry to thrive once again.

The podcast episode underscores the importance of economic policies and their ripple effects across various sectors, reminding listeners that while the future is uncertain, knowledge and preparation can help navigate even the toughest of times. As the real estate industry looks toward the future, one thing is clear: adaptability and strategic planning are key to weathering any storm.


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