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Mortgage Bankers Can't Afford Their Own Home

Call it a sign of the times.

MBA_logo.jpg

It's not exactly a great time to put a large piece of commercial real estate on the market, like a big ol' building in downtown Washington, DC, but apparently the Mortgage Bankers Association didn't have a choice.

They moved into their $76 million building just over a year ago at 1331 L St. NW, but in a letter to members this morning, the board wrote the sale would be "in the best interest" of the association.

It adds that they will lease "a substantial portion of the building" so as to keep it as their headquarters through 2010.

And a bit more from CEO John Courson:

Since the purchase in May 2008, the U.S. economy has suffered one of the most severe recessions in a century, and the residential and commercial real estate markets have materially deteriorated. These factors, coupled with a challenging leasing environment, led the MBA Board to conclude that continued ownership of 1331 L Street was economically imprudent, and over the long term would impair MBA's ability to continue providing our members with MBA's full range of services.

By the way, commercial office building prices in DC are down 27 percent from their peak in 2008, that according to Real Estate Econometrics. The mortgage bankers want to make sure you know the association is current on all debt payments.

Questions? Comments? RealtyCheck@cnbc.com