Wednesday, February 13, 2008 - 3:59 PM EST
BankUnited blacklists 191 condo projects
South Florida Business Journal - by Brian Bandell and Oscar Pedro Musibay
Interested buyers looking for mortgages to buy units in Miami's Opera Tower, Everglades on the Bay or Four Ambassadors shouldn't bother approaching BankUnited. The Miami-based bank has included them on a list of 191 condo projects it won't write loans for.
Declining market value was the biggest culprit, followed by high investor concentration -- as much as 70 percent in one case. BankUnited also cited numerous foreclosures, delinquent homeowners association dues, structural-based litigation and the bank's existing exposure in the buildings.
Even buyers with good credit can't get a mortgage for a condo that has an uncertain value, said Lewis Goodkin, president of Miami-based Goodkin Research. He said because sales have been so slow and 35 percent to 40 percent of buyers could pull out of contracts in some buildings, no one knows the real value of these condos. And, if lenders don't know the value, he said, they can't set a loan-to-value ratio with any certainty.
BankUnited's non-permissible condo list