Where Capital Market Lenders Will Be in 2020

Article originally posted on Globe St. on January 8, 2020

Hilary Provinse, executive vice president and head of mortgage banking for Berkadia, expects the apartment sector to continue to attract debt and equity in 2020. But multifamily won’t be alone.

“The other asset classes aren’t that far behind,” Provinse says. “We still have unbelievably favorable low interest rates, which won’t be changing in the near term, and equity capital is remaining plentiful. I think that bodes really well for market activity next year.”

Supply and demand, as illustrated by the need for affordable housing, play a considerable role in multifamily’s strength. “People aren’t buying homes, and people will continue to rent,” says Gerard Sansosti, executive managing director and debt and loan sales platform leader for HFF. “I think they’re going to continue to lend on multifamily.” Besides multifamily, capital providers will also look to industrial in the year ahead. “People can’t get enough of industrial,” Sansosti says.

For hospitality, there is less consensus. “Hospitality will be seen as riskier by lenders as many believe that sector has peaked,” says Ryan M. Haase, director of capital markets for Franklin Street.

Provinse sees strength in hospitality but notes that things can change quickly in that sector. “The economy is strong and tourism is still strong,” Provinse says. “We’re not seeing massive oversupply. But with a change in the economy, that is one of the first sectors that gets impacted.”

That variability makes some lenders cautious about hotels. “If you do have a little bit of a recession, hotels are impacted first,” Sansosti says. “So, I think people are looking at other product types to fill some of that void.” With the rise in online shopping, retail’s issues have been well-chronicled over the last few years. “There could be some asset types that see a more challenging debt market, such as big box retail, but this has been happening for several years,” says Jeff Lee, President of Capital One Multifamily Finance.

Sansosti sees similar concerns. “I think retail is still very difficult, and I don’t see that getting any better anytime soon,” he says.

That feeling isn’t universal, though. “Retail, as it continues to right-size and supply and demand dynamics improve, should be looked upon more favorably by lenders,” Haase says.

Brian Stoffers, global president of debt and structured finance for capital markets at CBRE, thinks segments of retail are getting a bad rap. “Retail has always been the bad boy of commercial real estate, and I think that is somewhat overrated,” he says. “We’re seeing a fair number of functionally obsolete retail centers being converted into warehouses or college campuses or medical or transportation hubs. There are a lot of adaptive reuse [opportunities].”