When will the U.S. commercial real estate property markets recover? According to one economist, commercial real estate property rental rates may not recover until 2017 – eight years from now.

According to a story published today by Reuters, the commercial real estate market is continuing to crash. Tenants are asking landlords for a reduction in rental rates so that they can stay in business. That, in turn, is putting financial stress on some landlords, who may not have enough cash flow to pay the mortgage, real estate property taxes, insurance and other expenses for the property.

“The froth is still working itself out,” Richard Parkus, Deutsche Bank head of Commercial Mortgage-backed Securities and Asset-Backed Securities Synthetics Research said at the Reuters Global Real Estate Summit in New York. “We are currently in something which is comparable to what we saw in the 1990s and potentially worse.”

One big problem is that some landlords are unable to finance and refinance commercial real estate. While the credit markets have begun to thaw a bit, many commercial real estate property owners are having difficulies finding the financing they need. At last week’s National Association of Real Estate Editors’ meeting in Washington, D.C., Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) said the federal government was aware of the financing difficulties and said that the federal government might wind up backing some commercial real estate loans in order to get them done.

According to Parkus, commercial real estate values could fall by 50 percent from the peak in 2007 until they stabilize. Unlike residential real estate, the value of a piece of commercial real estate is dependent on how much rental income is generated by the property. While asking rental rates are down 28 percent in New York City, with free rent and other perks, Parkus said the true asking rental rate is closer to 50 percent, hence his prediction that property values will continue to fall.