Who's Winning in Multifamily Lending
From neighborhood investment sales to new construction, Chicago multifamily's on a tear, so we're holding a special summit on the topic on April 8. And none of it could happen without financing. Centerline Capital Group managing director Vic Clark (a panelist) tells us Fannie and Freddie’s capped ARM products, or floating rate loans (seven- to 10-year term), are the most competitive debt in multifamily these days, with rates in the low 2s. He closed two apartment portfolios last year using these products (which totaled $250M), and has noticed more big borrowers embrace the flexibility and low-cost short- and medium-term money while rates (especially LIBOR) stay low. But everyone’s being aggressive in 2014, he adds, with CMBS racing the agencies to get as much money out the door as they can. (If everyone's so eager to give money away, there's a new pair of shoes we've been eyeing.)
Worries about Fannie and Freddie’s future are overblown. “We’ve honestly been hearing that for decades,” Vic says, and he foresees no changes in the near term that will impact borrowers. (Libraries are still here, aren’t they?) New construction will remain the equity-hungry market’s challenge. Banks on the coasts are quick to participate, but central region banks (from Texas to Chicago) have tempered themselves with good reason, Vic says, which should help stall overbuilding. We’ll always walk a fine line in terms of apartment supply, but he thinks Chicago’s pent-up demand and downtown migration should keep the market in balance.