Apartment Building Financing Outlook for 2014

Apartment building investment loans in 2014,  thoughts and predictions on what’s in store from lenders large and small and the organizations who represent them:

Greystone via MultiHousingNews: We do think there will be more capital available,” says Bob Barolak, co-COO at Greystone. Lenders will become even more eager to make loans in the multifamily space, he says, because of greater confidence in the economy and markets.

Another major reason for an expected bump in capital available in the next 12 months is that CMBS financing has come back into the multifamily sector—from a volume of practically zero in 2012. They will continue to increase market share significantly in 2014.” Currently, CMBS multifamily financings are carrying interest rates of about 5.10 to 5.20 percent, or about 10 to 15 basis points lower than rates in Fannie Mae transactions, according to Barolak.

Maximum LTVs on CMBS loans—up to 75 percent on 10-year terms for multifamily properties—have also become competitive with those of Fannie and Freddie loans. Moreover, CMBS lenders can become “extremely aggressive” for deals they want to acquire to round up a securitization pool, Barolak says. In such instances, “they can dramatically lower the interest rate significantly below what Fannie and Freddie will offer.”

Life insurance companies are another Continue reading Apartment Building Financing Outlook for 2014

My Challenge to Zillow on repair and maintenance costs in their rent vs. buy comparison.

The Fiscal Times had a piece the other day reviving the good old rent vs. buy meme. The new angle was that Zillow has updated its method for comparing the costs of renting and the costs of buying and uses it to produce what it calls a ‘Breakeven Horizon.’  Besides sounding vaguely like the title of an old sci-fi movie, beyond the breakeven horizon is where buying a home makes more sense than renting and in theory the less time to the horizon, the more the market is tilted towards buying.

Now I have to admit I was intrigued with the thought that Zillow had re-examined their methodology because as I have written about earlier, their previous calculation ignored the real costs of maintenance, repairs and saving up for replacing big expensive things like the roof, the furnace and the driveway and that is a pretty big chunk of money over time. Industry figures for repairs and maintenance on single family housing run from one to three percent of the home value.  Have a look at the chart* below to see how much a relatively modest 1.5% adds up to over time.

The Myth of Home Ownership as an Investment Debunked
Click for full screen chart view.


Surely I thought, Zillow had been convinced Continue reading My Challenge to Zillow on repair and maintenance costs in their rent vs. buy comparison.