Commercial real estate is the big question mark in any U.S. real estate recovery. The residential market is showing a few positive signs, but for the commercial property markets, this is just the beginning of the pain that is likely to come. Commercial real estate loans taken out around the peak of property values in 2007 made sense under rents and occupancy rates that don't exist now. Rents and occupancy plummeted, and with them the values of the properties that secured the debt.

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