Banks are battling with insurers to lend on the highest- quality U.S. properties as values in large, coastal cities increase. Non-distressed buildings in six major markets have recovered more than half of their post-peak losses, Moody's Investors Service said in a June 22 statement. Office values in San Francisco rose 9.6 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier, according to Moody's.


Wendy Silverstein, an executive vice president at New York- based Vornado, said last month that "virtually every" bank on Wall Street was bidding for the 555 California loan. The banks were willing to lend as much as $650 million against the tower, which is worth about $1 billion, she said, speaking at a conference for the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts on June 8.

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