Lending for commercial real estate in the US is increasing, according to a panel of industry experts. During the Commercial Real Estate Women of Greater Cincinnati conference, speakers agreed that lending standards are starting to relax and capital is becoming available once again, the Business Courier reported. This is good news for those looking for investment property in the country, especially if there is an element of risk.
Martha Kavalauskas, downtown-based regional manager of commercial real estate and Huntington National Bank, explained that "commercial banks are starting to get crazy again", offering longer-term loans. Lending terms are now being extended to ten years, whereas in previous years loans would be handed over to life insurance companies after five years. However, according to the newspaper, this isn't necessarily a good thing. Ms Kavalauskas stated: "For the first time, we’re seeing term risk. I’ve seen a lot of community banks doing that quite frequently, which is to our detriment and your benefit."
Karen Dunevant, vice president of commercial real estate in the Cincinnati area for the US bank, agrees with Ms Kavalauskas and claims that lenders are increasingly making a decision based on the borrower, rather than the actual real estate potential itself. This means that cash really is king in the US, but property itself still has a bearing on lending. Even if loan-to-value ratio is high, lenders are often still happy to give finance as long as real estate can be shown to generate a strong cash flow.
By looking at the wider picture, riskier candidates now also have a change to obtain a loan. Charlene Perkins-Hoyle, mortgage loan investment associate at downtown-based Eagle Reality, explained that her company will look at deals, even if a borrower has a blemished financial record, the Business Courier recounted. "It’s a matter of how has the borrower recovered, and do they have the net worth," she said. "It’s not a non-starter. You just have to understand the story."
- Friday 16 November 2012