The market for commercial mortgage bonds has weakened significantly since the beginning of the year, raising questions about the ability of borrowers in certain parts of the country to refinance billions of dollars of maturing loans on office buildings, hotels and shopping centers.

While securitization accounts for between 20% and 25% of all commercial real estate lending, or roughly $100 billion a year, properties in secondary and tertiary markets are largely dependent on it for financing. And as investors demand higher yields on these bonds, lenders that specialize in underwriting mortgages to be used as collateral are starting to lose money; some are cutting staff or closing shop entirely.

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