Borrowers in the Multifamily Sector Are Increasingly Looking for CMBS Loans

CMBS shops are currently offering higher leverage and slightly lower interest rates than agency lenders.

CMBS lenders may be gaining in popularity with multifamily borrowers as Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae slow down in the race to make loans on apartment properties.

“Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae increased the borrower spreads dramatically,” says Mitchell W. Kiffe, co-head of national production for the debt & structured finance group at CBRE Capital Markets. “That creates an opportunity for other lenders.”

Long-term interest rates have dropped sharply in 2019. Economists have begun to seriously worry about a potential slowdown in the global economy. Federal Reserve officials no longer plan to raise their benchmark interest rates in 2019. Instead they have cut rates to give the economy a boost.

Lower interest rates have created a lot of new business for lenders. And the competition to make deals has changed the balance of power between different segments of the market.

“I have members who might be talking to banks who might not have been talking to banks until recently… People have been exploring CMBS,” says Dave Borsos, vice president of capital markets for the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC), an industry association.

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