Everyone is obviously happy that rates remain historically low and are likely to stay there for quite awhile. It allows better pricing for debt than we all would have anticipated. Banks are able to compete heavily for major property loans on the best assets with the best borrowers at rates that few of us would have expected a few months ago. So long as bank lending in general is at low levels and banks can take deposits and borrow at record low levels, they will continue to pose a competitive challenge to CMBS lenders for the better quality deals. They also offer borrowers better flexibility and servicing.

What seems to be happening is many people are not sufficiently considering that rates will be rising during the hold period for most assets. At some point the Fed will end its bond buying program, and will start to need to sop up the excess liquidity in order to prevent another bubble. The economy will recover and the combination of Fed tightening and reductions in money supply, will join with rising rates to present a possibly different borrowing market.  In three or four years, when investors might be considering selling or refinancing, the debt market could look very different. Underwriting is likely to continue to be conservative, and LTV is likely to remain in the 65%-75% range and be based mainly on cash flow. If rates have moved up by say 250-300 basis points on the 10 year, then proceeds to a new buyer at that time will probably constrain what price he can justify. Rents will have stabilized and hopefully be rising again, but new long term leases for office and retail will have been signed in the interim at today’s lower rates. In short, it is hard to properly project what debt will be for a buyer in three to four years, and where inflation will be, so it is very hard to accurately figure out terminal values at that time in any model done today. It is likely best to use a range of values and determine if being in that range still provides a justifiable return. Making an assumption that there will be large value increases and plenty of cheap capital is not likely to provide an accurate estimation of the validity of the investment under consideration.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Once you are an ALM digital member, you’ll receive:

  • Unlimited access to GlobeSt and other free ALM publications
  • Access to 15 years of GlobeSt archives
  • Your choice of GlobeSt digital newsletters and over 70 others from popular sister publications
  • 1 free article* every 30 days across the ALM subscription network
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM events and publications

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?


© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from www.copyright.com. All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.


Join GlobeSt

Don't miss crucial news and insights you need to make informed commercial real estate decisions. Join GlobeSt.com now!

  • Free unlimited access to GlobeSt.com's trusted and independent team of experts who provide commercial real estate owners, investors, developers, brokers and finance professionals with comprehensive coverage, analysis and best practices necessary to innovate and build business.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and GlobeSt events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including ThinkAdvisor.com and Law.com.

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join GlobeSt

Copyright © 2024 ALM Global, LLC. All Rights Reserved.