Davenports says that his company represented the lenders-- whichare local or regionally-based--in the sale of three smallcommercial buildings in March and one in February. What this means,he says, is that lenders that have foreclosed on these smallproperties are now more willing to "meet the market," that is,accept what buyers are willing to pay for these properties.

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Lavista acted on behalf of State Bank & Trust of Atlanta inthe sale of a 20,000-square foot industrial building in Dawsonvilleand a 5,900-square-foot office building in Alpharetta; theNorcross-based Excel Federal Credit Union in the sale of a17,280-square foot, freestanding office building in Cumming andHiram-based West Side Bank in the disposition of a9,000-square-foot office building in Satellite Park at Huntcrest inSuwanee. All of these properties are in suburban Atlanta.

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Davenport says that most of the properties sold were officebuildings because it was in the office sector which had most of theactivity in recent years. He declined to give the sales prices oramounts of the loans owned on these properties.

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These sales are taking place, says Davenport, because investorsare recognizing that this is the best time to buy. "Plus, in a lotof cases, depending on the financial stability and/or theirloss-share agreements with the FDIC, lenders are becoming more ableto take the losses today than 12 to 18 months ago," he says. Untilrecently, the FDIC was telling banks that they couldn't write downthe loans to the point where the properties would sell, saysDavenport. "As a practical matter," he says, banks with a lowcapital basis can't afford to take too many losses because the FDICmight decide to shut them down, he says.

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"We deal in large and small properties," says Davenport, "butthe majority of the activity is on smaller assets, because it isdifficult to obtain debt on large assets today," he says. "But thefirst sign of a recovery is that smaller transactions start tomove, says Davenport.

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