The multifamily market, like other assets classes, has been affected by the paralysis in the CMBS market. However unlike hotel or office, multifamily investors and developers also have the support of the government agencies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. True, both agencies have experienced financial difficulties themselves in recent months ( and have worried out loud they may bump up against the ceiling of their lending limits. (

Yet GSA continued support — coupled with more aggressive lending from some equity providers — is closing deals and even intriguing new buying opportunities for some investors. “The two agencies are still in the market,” says David Baird, national director of multifamily for Sperry Van Ness in Las Vegas. “The underwriting is a little tighter but they are probably the only reliable long term source of financing now with decent pricing.”

Buyers must put up a larger equity piece, as much as 10%. But now that they are getting a bigger piece of the deal, equity lenders are becoming distinctly more aggressive in this space, Baird says.

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