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Why You Should Borrow Now

The financing market is changing rapidly—and that’s been great news for borrowers. (And we don't mean our neighbor who "borrowed" our hammer three years ago and still hasn't returned it.) Berkadia SVPs Jon Gilfillan and Jim Adams laid out how the capital markets look different than a few months ago.

Why You Should Borrow Now

This is one of the best times ever to be a borrower. The duo tells us business was slower at the beginning of the year, but it picked up in March and has been busier every day since. (The Houston office financed $372M of debt in the first half of the year.) That’s partially thanks to CMBS and bridge lending gaining momentum and becoming more available.

Why You Should Borrow Now

If you’re wondering why their partner Cutt Ableson didn’t chime in, it’s because we found him a little too fishy. (He caught this sucker on Wednesday!) Jim and Jon tell us leverage is increasing. Last year, 75% was the max. But now, CMBS lenders are offering 80% with multiple years of I/O. Some are going to 85% with internal mezz pieces that feel seamless for the lender, and the occasional bridge lender will even top 85% with a floating rate. Another big change: It’s not just a multifamily game anymore. Jim says they’re arranging debt for all sorts of property types, especially office and retail.

Why You Should Borrow Now

Multifamily is still active, Jon says, but it’s shifted from mostly construction loans to a bunch of value-add acquisition financing. He says borrowers have been using lots of bridge lending and in the last six months he started seeing companies put perm loans (at full value) on assets that aren’t stabilized. He says multifamily developers have been doing it to lock in non-recourse and put the deal to bed or facilitate a sale. Lenders are willing because fundamentals are good enough to merit the risk. Plus, they need to get money out the door and have to differentiate themselves to keep up with Houston’s competitive market.