First is about the bombshell quote from above. Linneman said there are many studies about home buying that show the down payment is the issue not the mortgage payment and disputes the whole people buy a monthly payment thing.
If I don’t have the downpayment it doesn’t matter what the interest rate is.
Young people are having a very hard time saving for a downpayment at zero percent interest and their parents and grandparents can’t afford to help at zero percent interest on their savings either. Linneman summed it up by putting it in a golfing context: It’s not the green fees it’s the club membership that make it expensive. Japan is the poster child for this bad policy, they’ve been doing QE for twenty five years and it’s done nothing to fix their problems.
The most interesting thing from a multifamily perspective was that he believes we’re at the beginning of the capital cycle for CRE including apartments:
As apartment building investors it’s easy to get so deep into the trenches of our market sector that we get blindsided by political events that don’t make any sense from an economic or investment perspective. With every market being so local and at the same time now subject to institutional interest it’s a stretch just to be able to track what’s happening in the lending environment at the same time. But this is the biggest risk we face; how to avoid Nassim Taleb’s ‘Black Swans’ that could destroy our investment plans. As an options trader Taleb could very easily have been overtaken by black swans if his vision was limited to the distance from his eyeballs to the trading screens he stared at. How wide is yours?
Short of an asteroid strike from another time dimension there really aren’t as many black swans as there are limited perspectives. Many people considered the mortgage meltdown a black swan but there were also quite a number with wider vision who understood how it would all end and some of them made fortunes putting their insights to work. Since we’re multifamily and CRE investors, not leveraged derivative traders we probably don’t spend a lot of time thinking about how to go short the apartment building in that bad neighborhood but how do we develop that wider perspective and still have time to do any investing?
What a month it was for apartment building investment loan rates. The week we were all wondering How is Columbus Day Still a Thing? The 10yr rate we track fell to a low of 4.139% with the spread between it and the 10yr Treasury (T10) breaking below 2% to 1.929 (See below for details on both). I have to hand it to the ULI, they’re good. They had just said:
The apartment building loan rate we track remains in the 4.6-4.7% range where it’s been since the middle of July. Meanwhile the ULI <60% LTV loan rate has fallen 10 basis points over the same period with its spread to the 10 year Treasury coming in from 1.32% to 1.27%. That’s a very slim margin indicating a very competitive market for those loans. Typically the 10yr apartment loan rate loosely tracks the ULI rate with a lag so we’re hoping to see the rate come in a little more for deals closing in the next few months.
While everyone seems to ‘know’ that rates must be going up influential economist Anatole Kaletsky (the Kal in GaveKal Research) makes a pretty convincing argument that the central bankers in the US, UK and Europe will be following their contemporaries over at the Bank of Japan, keeping rates ‘lower for longer’ in a piece out this week from Evergreen/GaveKal. Note that registration is required but they will only send you the weekly ‘Virtual Advisor’.
The apartment building loan rate we track came in today at 4.765% (see below for loan details), making it 22 straight weeks below the five percent mark. The spread to the 10 year Treasury (T10) also remained in the 2.1 and change range where it’s been since the beginning of March, indicating that the very competitive market for multifamily loans continues on.
For the gold plated ULI less than 60% LTV loan the spread dropped into the 1.2s from the 1.3 range where it had been holding since late February, taking the implied rate for these core institutional apartment loans down to 3.77%.
The apartment loan rate we track popped up into the 4.70s today after spending the last three weeks in the 4.60s. Today’s 4.71% rate is about the same as it was a year ago, just before the taper tantrum hit. Monday quotes on the 10 year Treasury have climbed two weeks in a row now but remain below most recent highs of March, clocking in at 2.62 today. The downward march of the spread has flattened recently in the 2.0 – 2.15 range, including today’s number at 2.14. The ULI <60%LTV rate still looks like someone bouncing a ball down the stairs but their data is lagged a week so we’ll have to check back on Friday to see if that rate is going to tick up as well.
The apartment building investment loan rate we track continued to trend downward as both the 10yr Treasury (T10) and the spread between the two came in during April. Today’s new rate on the loan is 4.733%, a 212 basis point spread over the T10 which was in the 2.61% area today. The six month moving average spread continues to fall suggesting that lenders are more confident and/or aggressive but the spread itself is above the March 17 low of 209bp.
This month we add a new rate which the ULI (Urban Land Institute) reports on from the Trepp survey. According to the ULI the Trepp rate is what large institutional borrowers could expect to pay on a 10 year fixed rate, less than 60% LTV loan for a “crème de la crème” core apartment property located in a gateway market. We track this rate as a barometer of what the largest lenders are offering their best customers on the most secure loans for any advanced warning about future rate and spread changes. See the ULI<60LTV Rate on the chart below (in gold). Note that the spread we chart is between 10yr loan we track (in orange) and the T10 (in blue):
The apartment investment loan we tract (see below for details) clocked in at 4.861% this week making it the 10th week in a row below 5%. Meanwhile the spread between it and the benchmark 10 year Treasury (T10) held in the 210 -220 basis point range over the last six weeks. The T10 itself had been in the 2.7% range over the last month but dipped to 2.65% this week:
After spending just one week above its six month moving average the spread between the apartment investment loan rate we track and the 10 year Treasury (T10) fell to 2.143 with the apartment loan rate at a nine month low of 4.743%. Meanwhile the T10 bounced up to 2.8%, climbing 20bp in the past week:
Over the last month the apartment loan rate we track eased slightly from 5.17% to just under 5 at 4.959% as the 10 year Treasury continued to fall causing the spread to rise above its 6 month average for the first time since July of last year but remains tighter than a year ago: