For Very first time in 3 Years, Banks Ease Loaning Standards for Commercial Realty Loans

For the first time in almost 3 years, U.S. banks are reporting that they have actually loosened their financing spigots for some kinds of industrial realty loans throughout the very first quarter of this year.

The Federal Reserve’s quarterly study of senior loan officers released this week found that banks are easing standards and terms on commercial and commercial loans to big and middle-market companies, while leaving loan standards unchanged for little companies. On the other hand, banks eased requirements on nonfarm nonresidential loans and tightened up standards on multifamily loans. Financing standards on building and construction and land development loans were left the same.

The April 2018 Senior Loan Officer Viewpoint Study on Bank Financing Practices likewise consisted of a special set of concerns meant to provide policy makers more insight on changes in bank loaning policies and demand for commercial property loans over the past year. In their responses, banks reported that they alleviated lending terms, including maximum loan size and the spread of loan rates over their cost of funds.

Almost all banks that reported they had eased their credit policies pointed out more aggressive competitors from other banks or nonbank loan providers as the factor. A considerable percentage of banks in the study also mentioned increased tolerance for risk and more favorable or less unpredictable outlooks for residential or commercial property costs, for vacancy rates or other principles, and for capitalization rates on homes for reducing these credit policies over the past year.

A modest number of domestic banks showed weaker need for loans across the 3 main industrial property categories, mentioning a reduced variety of residential or commercial property acquisitions or brand-new developments, rising rate of interest, and shifts of client loaning to other bank or nonbank sources.

Reports of lowered loan need coincided with the current CBRE Lending Momentum Index, which tracks the rate of U.S. industrial loan closings. The index fell by 8.8% between December 2017 and March 2018.

“In spite of an increase in financial market volatility, real estate capital markets remain in good shape and the supply/demand balance for business home loan financing is favorable to debtors,” said Brian Stoffers, CBRE’s worldwide president for capital market debt and structured financing, said in a declaration accompanying the index.

“An unexpected uptick in wage inflation might prompt the Fed to enact additional rate hikes, while the recent 3% breach of the 10-year Treasury might indicate a sign of inflation that would lead to a more normal yield curve. Nonetheless, all-in financing rates are most likely to stay favorable near-term,” Stoffers added.

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