While some aspects of the lending markets have paused, theagencies are continuing to lend. Refinancing deals in particularhave pushed forward to close during the pandemic.Berkadia has secured more than $44 million torefinance two multifamily assets on behalf of an unnamed privateinvestor. The loans have 10-year fixed rates through Fannie MaeMultifamily affordable housing and conventional loan programs. Thetwo deals are an example of ongoing lender interest, even throughthe pandemic.

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"We had a lot of lender interest in the properties, due to theborrower's reputation, recent capex investment and stronghistorical operations," Vincent Punzi, seniordirector in Berkadia's Irvine office who secured the funds onbehalf of the borrower, tells GlobeSt.com.

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The borrower actually had term left on its current financing,but decided to move quickly in light of the low interest rates. Thetwo loans had a blended rate of 2.49% with $17 million cash out."Wellington Park and Vineyard Village had plenty of time torefinance but saw an opportunity for a significant cash-out, whilelowering their interest rate," says Punzi. "Those type ofopportunities and refinances with loans maturing are keeping usbusy. On the acquisition side, the pipeline has been slower thanusual but we have seen those debt requests pick up over the pastcouple weeks."

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Refinancing deals, like these, have become common in recentweeks as a result of the changing market. "Currently, a majority oflender pipeline's are refinance versus acquisition opportunities,"says Punzi. "Pricing has been the same but many lenders will have ahigher credit tolerance on acquisition deals because they prefer tosee fresh equity."

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For borrowers looking to secure financing, Punzi warns that themarket is currently volatile and changes daily, as a result, themore time, the better. "The market is fluid and things are changingdaily with debt providers. We are recommending that our clientsbring us in early for guidance so we can provide real timefeedback," he says. "Furthermore, if there is interest to refinancethis year, it is best to get organized now. We have a few clientsthat are in no rush to refinance, but are preparing in themeantime. This way, if we see an opportunity, we're ready to movetowards an application and rate lock."

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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 GlobeSt.com 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.