Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

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Below are the current multi-family rates for stabilized income producing properties.  These rates are updated periodically (as shown) and give an indication of current rates.   On any loan the rate is dependent on the exact loan characteristics and therefore the information listed below is only indicative.  It is not an actual quote or an offer to lend.    However, it should assist you in determining current rates and working with your lender.   If you are looking for a lender please check out our Connections Directory or Contact us and we will assist you.


Fannie Mae – Small Loan *


5 year





7 year





10 year





Fannie Mae – DUS *


5 year





7 year





10 year





Freddie Mac**


5 year





7 year





10 year





Local/Regional Banks**


3 year






5 year





7 year












* Based on Fannie Mae rates as published by their DUS lenders,  Last updated 1/31/2011

** Based on informal survey, updated bi- weekly.  Last updated 1/31/2011 has moved and is no longer being published at this site.  We have moved to where we are actively updating and running this blog and web site.  Please visit us there.



Evidence that values are taking a turn

I read a lot of real estate newsletters and press releases relating to commercial real estate.  This week I came across two separate reports showing multifamily values have hit bottom.  The first a press release by Integra Realty Resources says their multifamily index has shown values stabilizing.  They say the data suggests values will increase over the next six months.   The press release (found here) does not give much real data but says you can get additional information and charts if you contact them.

There was also some good information in the current issue of the newsletter The Watch List.  This is published by the Costar group the provider of real estate sales data and analysis.  I usually find this newsletter a rehash, but good synopsis, of items I find in many publications.  However, this issue had some exciting new information.  Evidently the CoStar group is doing frequent analysis of properties that resell over time.  These “sales pairs” are one of the best indication of value changes as they are not market averages, but sale changes on individual properties thus there is little noise in the data relating to the quality of properties sold in any one period. 

Below is some of the data they show;

                                      1 month earlier              1 qtr earlier        1 year earlier

All Apartments                 -4.8                                  -8.6                          -22.7

Northeast – Apts               3.5                                   7.8                            -8.6

West – Apts                     -8.9                                  -12.7                         -21.2

Midwest – Apts             -10.3                                -25.1                         -38.5

South – Apts                  1.0                                      -8.5                           30.9

While the data is a bit confusing and I really don’t know exactly what it means, but I think its clear that the drop in values is reducing and in some markets have converted to actual price increases.   Hopefully this trend will continue and we will see positive gains in all markets.

What does a Recession look like?

Depending on what business you are in a recession looks and feels different to everyone and its hard to really know what it means.  This link that someone sent me really gives you a quick and easy feel to how a recession looks and feels.  This is a graphic that shows the US unemployment rate over time and how it effects different parts of the country.  They say a picture says a thousand words, well this 30 second video says a 100,000 words.

Deflation on the horizon

Today’s New York Times has an interesting article Fed Member’s Deflation Warning Hints at Policy Shift relating the views of James Bullard one of the voting FED members.   This s scary stuff;  The US may be heading towards deflation or even a “Japanese” style stagnation.   I don’t know if its true or not, but the real scary part of the article is how few tools the FED really has to deal with this if it happens.   

This is not good news for anyone, but there is some silver lining for those of you needing financing.   If this is true it’s clear that short-term interest rates will stay low.   This is probably true for medium (3-7) year treasuries also.  However, I don’t know if that true for the longer term securities.  Deflation and/or stagnation and the probable government reaction to them might make some other countries, and buyers of treasury securities, to think twice about the long-term prospects fo the US economy.   I could be wrong and long-term treasuries stay low, but I don’t think that will happen forever.

HUD issues new multifamily rules, finally.

Earlier this month HUD finally issued their new multifamily rules.  These were previewed at the CFEF/MBA meeting earlier this year and have been much disused since.  The full announcement can be found on the web at HUD Mortgage Letter 2010-21.   The announcement covers a number of HUD programs and outlines different rules for affordable properties and market rate properties.  However, today I will discuss some of the more important changes as it relates to owners of market rate properties. 

For owners of market rate properties HUD has been a major refinance lender in the last two years and a major construction lender for longer than that.  These new changes do not affect some of the most desirable attributes of the HUD programs like their long term fully amortizing nature and relatively low rates.  However, it does affect the underwriting criteria and particularly the leverage that is available on HUD deals. 

From my perspective the three most important changes are 1) new ratio levels on maximum LTV, minimum DSCR levels; 2) required occupancy levels and 3) the process.  In addition there are numerous other changes including an increased focus on the borrower, their tax returns and financial position; an increase in working capital reserves for new construction deals and the ability for HUD to revisit certain items such as the level of replacement reserves over the life of the HUD loan.   

Many borrowers went to HUD for a loan because of their high loan proceeds.  HUD could offer an 85% LTV on a purchase or refinance 223 (f) and 90% on new construction D (4).    For market rate properties that is over.  The level is now 83.3% LTV or both refinance and new construction.  When you take into account that HUD loans usually have higher costs than conventional loans, I believe the net proceeds are now on par with more conventional lenders.    The DSCR requirements have also been tightened to 1.20x.   This is still slightly more aggressive than most conventional lenders who require a 1.25x, but only slightly so.

For purchase or refinance properties HUD was one lender who was not overly focused on current and historical vacancy.  HUD would look at deals that were just stabilized or even experiencing a stabilized occupancy at an unusually low level.   They did have 85% occupancy rules, but these could be worked with and modified by exception.   HUD is now very focused on occupancy.  The new rules state that the property needs 85% minimum physical occupancy and “projects must demonstrate a pattern of stable occupancy i.e. average occupancy… for a period of 6 months prior to submission of the firm commitment application and through” the process.   This is a sea change and will eliminate many projects from the program.  Additionally HUD is now using a 7% minimum vacancy in its underwriting which is more conservative than many conventional lenders.

The process changes are very interesting.  In the past it was common to have a pre-application meeting with HUD on new construction projects.  It seems HUD likes this process and is now requiring it on construction deals and is recommending it on refinances.   I think this is very wise and should help reduce the HUD timelines as they only see deals in final application that they really like.   However, l this will require more from the borrower up front who will now have to put together a package before knowing if it fits the HUD program.  This also makes it more important to deal with a HUD lender who has experience with the local office you are using.   If there is a pre-application meeting then it’s better to be with someone who knows the people in the local office vs. an out of town HUD lender who fly’s in for the meeting.    By the way, expect to pay for that flight and other costs before you go under application.   In line with that HUD has also initiated a 15 BPS fee for pre-app construction deals that will not be refunded if HUD does not accept the deal. 

As with any new thing there is an implementation process that means these rules are not yet in effect.  However, HUD offices have started to look at all new deals through the glasses of these rules.   As for real implementation that will start with 223 (f) deals whose final application are being submitted to HUD after September 6 (60 days after the letter) or D (4) deals whose outstanding invitation is less than 120 days from submission. 

For borrower who do not fit these new rules, but want a HUD deal I think you have missed your mark.  If you are already under application you might get in under the wire, but it will be tight.  Also, HUD is clear in the letter that if you submit a full application package under the old rules and it is not complete and correct they will return it to the lender and if it’s after the new rules have gone into effect the package will have to be redone under the new rules.

Looking at these changes HUD is getting more mainstream with respect to market rate deals.   This should reduce their workload on this type of deal and focus more of their time on “affordable” deals which better fit the “mission” of HUD.     Deals that were marginal will no longer get in front of HUD and they will only see construction deals they really want to do.  For borrowers who do use HUD it should reduce processing timeframes to more reasonable levels.  This won’t happen right away and I see things slowing down from the last flurry of business under the old rules.  However, by next year things should be back on track and timeframes should be down. 

For many borrowers who have started to do HUD deals as the rest of the market tightened, the game is no longer as lucrative as it was.   It’s still pretty good with very low rates and long term fixed rate financing.    However, HUD is no longer the clear choice for most borrowers.  Anyone financing an apartment deal needs to look at HUD, Fannie, Freddie and maybe even banks or life companies.   The best lender for each deal depends on its location and structure.   Talk to an experienced lending professional and shop more than one lender before you decide who the best lender is for you and your property.

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