The Role Debt Plays In Capital Markets
There are new sources of debt financing in today's market.
Meridian Capital Group managing director Seth Grossman said it feels like a more complete balance sheet, value-add and bridge lending space than he has seen in the last 10 years. In the last few years, a handful of very strong balance sheet lenders dominated much of the value-add/bridge space for clients requiring non-recourse, full leveraged loans, he said.
The last 12 months, many more lenders have entered the space while simultaneously widening the net for the types of loans that will be executable in that space, according to Grossman. It creates more options and more customization potential for clients to have the ideal loan and more competitive terms.
"While some groups used to buy assets, they are now saying, 'We don't know where the prices are,'" Grossman said. "'We used to be on the equity side, but we'll go to the debt side in the meantime.'"
Grossman spoke on a panel at our Bisnow LA Capital Markets event at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in DTLA.
"I think what's interesting is there are a lot of equity groups that are starting debt platforms, which kind of shows where you are in the market and how people are looking at the next 10 years," Calmwater Capital vice president Bradley Ross said.
In his estimation, a lot of people who like what lenders have done in the last decade now want to get in on it before it is too late.
Avatar Financial Group president T.R. Hazelrigg IV said, with the exception of 2007, he has not seen the kind of competition currently going on.
Freddie Mac Multifamily managing director Scott Croul said his firm is exploring a fund platform, which is something new for Freddie Mac.
The fund platform serves as a vehicle to offload risk from Freddie Mac and taxpayers to private investors.
Freddie Mac currently securitizes around 90% of the loans it funds annually through its K-deal program, which has securitized $175.6B from its inception through 2016, according to Croul.
"The fund platform will enable us to increase the amount of risk transfer and reduce exposure on loans that have not been securitized or that fall outside the K-deal program parameters but fall squarely within Freddie Mac’s mission to support liquidity, stability and affordability to the multifamily housing market," Croul said.
It also provides a vehicle to use private investor capital to support areas of greatest need such as market-rate affordable housing.
It all adds up to it being a great time to be a borrower, some of the panelists said.