(Source: Wall Street Journal)

The biggest threat to the outlook for commercial real estate in the U.K and U.S. is excess debt, with some $247 billion of distressed real estate debt globally, ING Real Estate Investment Management said Monday.

“We expect a significant amount of distressed property to come to the market on a foreclosure basis but it will be orderly,” said ING REIM’s head of research and strategy, Timothy Bellman. He said distressed property won’t all come to the market at once, with lenders taking three to four years to work it all out.

ING REIM, a real estate lender, developer and investor, said in a presentation in London that 60% of distressed debt is located in the Americas. In the U.S. there is $1.4 trillion of debt forecast to mature between 2009 and 2012, holding back a potential recovery.

Read Anita Likus’ full article “Debt Is Biggest Threat To US, UK Commercial RE – ING” in the Wall Street Journal (December 14, 2009).

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