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The Mortgage Bankers Association Takes a Bath on Headquarter Sale

Written By Brian Hicks

Posted February 9, 2010


murder scene



The irony here is so rich that it speaks for itself.

As it turns out, The Mortgage Bankers Association is more qualified to rent than it is to own…..

From the Washington Post by V. Dion Haynes entitled: 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.

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.

“It’s a little bit of irony that in the middle of the mortgage crisis brought on by the bad lending practices of many members of the Mortgage Bankers Association that they got caught up in the same problem,” said Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, a liberal research group.”


Chalk up another housing bubble casualty….

We’re sorry sir, but the underwriter has denied your loan application. Please feel free to try again in a couple of years or when your financial situation has improved.  


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