Construction Developer Says Banks Suddenly Playing Hardball, Asks "Mish, What's Going On?"

Construction Developer Says Banks Suddenly Playing Hardball, Asks "Mish, What's Going On?"

Construction Developer Says Banks Suddenly Playing Hardball, Asks "Mish, What's Going On?"

By: Mike Shedlock / Mish
Today I received an email from “Construction Insider” concerned about banks suddenly playing hardball and calling in construction loans.

Construction Insider writes:

Hi Mish

I work in the construction business and something has been creeping to the forefront of my attention for the past few weeks and now it seems to be moving full steam ahead.

Banks are forcing developers/builders (especially smaller ones) to give up their properties (unsold homes and lots).

Banks say the reason is that the properties in question are no longer performing assets. I am sure there are some loans out there that are not performing and the owners are going under. I am equally sure that there are plenty of developers that are still selling homes – just not at the pace originally planned on the pro formas.

Having inside information on one of these scenarios that happened today, I cannot help but wonder what is really going on? The bank told a small developer/builder I work for that they were taking back his ongoing subdivision.

He is selling houses and updated pro formas would indicate that the current sales pace would exhaust all remaining lots within 33 months. Yet the bank stated they would only give him until April 15 to find alternative financing. The bank is also willing to let him buy the subdivision at a 33% discount to what is currently owed.

If he is unable to obtain this backing, the bank will let him walk away without penalty or consequence so they can write it off.

I have been on the phone trying to put some of these pieces together. It seems there are many banks doing the same thing. However, there is apparently no interest [or ability – Mish] from anyone wanting to pick up land/lots at 30% – 50% discounts to today’s prices.

Another interesting point is that the banks all state that they must have these situations written off or taken care of by the end of Q2.

These are the immediate questions running through my head:

Why the end of Q2? And why do so many banks seem to be simultaneously doing this?

Is it possible that there is some government incentive to the banks to meet this timeline? And how much will this cost the taxpayers?

There is something extremely concerning about this whole thing, especially from the standpoint that many banks appear to be acting in concert, all with the same specific timeline. Any thoughts you have would be greatly appreciated.

Construction Insider

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