Banks in Japan are increasingly stepping in to satisfy loan demand by U.S. and European businesses. The Bank for International Settlement says Japan is steadily increasing its share of global lending, accounting for about 10%, compared with 6% shortly before Lehman Brothers Holdings collapsed in 2008.
Starwood Capital Group Chairman and CEO Barry Sternlicht says that financing available for commercial real estate now is ideal as the spread between low interest rates and the money that real estate generates is "truly astonishing." Assets can still be purchased below replacement costs, he noted.
A turnaround in the housing market is visible in affiliated industries, as sales increase at companies that market power tools, carpet fibers, furniture, cement mixers and other products. The results add to direct housing indicators, which have been improving during the past year.