CMBS has fallen out of popularity in recent years. With an abundance of other capital options, the market share of CMBS debt was only 16% in 2018, compared to 54% in 2007, according to Mark Ritchie, a principal at Newmark Realty Capital. It is a dramatic change, considering the popularity of CMBS debt in the last cycle.

“The drop-off is a result of an abundance of money from other lending sources, the market reacting to those options and past experiences with CMBS,” Ritchie tells “However, if CMBS further deteriorates, undoubtedly all CRE asset classes will be negatively impacted. Most notably, the first problem will be a re-pricing of properties supported by CMBS lending, and then eventually leaking into all CRE asset values. It’s time for the CMBS industry to address the changes required to meet the needs of an ever evolving borrowing community.”

One reason that CMBS has fallen out of popularity is because the debt isn’t rate locked. “CMBS loans aren’t rate locked until closing—though we usually have a good idea of a range of pricing—which can impact loan proceeds at the eleventh hour vs. locking interest rate at loan application with a life insurer,” says Ritchie. “We ask our borrowers to consider each CMBS financing akin to an IPO or a bond offering, as there are a number of similarities to pricing a stock or a public company bond offering and CMBS financing. When our CMBS borrowers understand the vehicle in this context, it makes the process and structure palatable.”

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Kelsi Maree Borland

Kelsi Maree Borland is a freelance journalist and magazine writer based in Los Angeles, California. For more than 5 years, she has extensively reported on the commercial real estate industry, covering major deals across all commercial asset classes, investment strategy and capital markets trends, market commentary, economic trends and new technologies disrupting and revolutionizing the industry. Her work appears daily on and regularly in Real Estate Forum Magazine. As a magazine writer, she covers lifestyle and travel trends. Her work has appeared in Angeleno, Los Angeles Magazine, Travel and Leisure and more.

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