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Investors Swarm Houston; The Rodeo Edition

Investors Swarm Houston; The Rodeo Edition

Its Rodeo time, which means mutton bustin, great music, and investors flocking to Houston. (Come for the cowboys, leave your equity for the fundamentals.)


NorthMarq VP Warren Hitchcock (here with managing director Kerry French) tells us Houston is already one of the target markets for investors and lenders, and the Rodeo is a chance to bring them here and let them see why our city is great. (And also teach them the importance of wranglin'.) His company always hosts some lenders: This year, reps from an Oregon-based correspondent lender and Sun Life (New Englanders) are coming down. Warren says the Oregon client comes to the Rodeo every year for the warmer weather, golf, and BBQ, and leaves with better understanding of the city and the desire to do more deals. (Warren calls this group a true workhorse lender thatll do all property types, including smaller deals. His rates start around 4% for a five-year term.)

Kingwood Town Center

Warren began marketing Kingwood Town Center during last year's Rodeo and toured it to a CMBS lender in town for the festivites. (The loan closed later last year to that group.) Sun Life recently moved its Houston loan servicing portfolio and origination function to NorthMarq, and Warren says its very active here. Its seeking conventional industrial, office, multifamily, and anchored retail properties with longer term (10 to 20-year) mortgage needs. Warren shared a new capital markets trend with us: Insurance companies are reaching for extra yield by moving to the equity side of the ledger. Prudential, Principal Life, and Allianz have all gotten in that game. When not courting investors chute-side, Warrens working on financing proposed multifamily/mixed-use communities in the Inner Loop and on the Metro rail as well as bridge financing on a transitional Greenspoint office portfolio and refinancing a CBD hotel.