X

Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.

DENVER-Al Brooks, executive vice president and national manager for multifamily lending for Washington Mutual, asked himself: “What market is projected to weather the current recession better than any other in the Rocky Mountain region?” The answer is Denver, Brooks told about 150 multifamily industry officials attending the recent 2002 Economic Conference presented by the Apartment Association of Metro Denver.

The event was held at the Doubletree Stapleton hotel across the street from the former Stapleton International Airport.

Getting the blessing of WaMu, as it is known, carries a lot of weight. WaMu is the nation’s seventh-largest banking institution with more than $270 billion in assets. It is the No. 1 residential lender and servicer nationally and was the No. 1 originator of multifamily loans in the US in 2000 and 2001, when it saw its volume jump by more than 50%.

So far this year, WaMu is the No. 1 multifamily originator, with a portfolio approaching $19 billion in assets under management, Brooks says.

Brooks says he likes Denver’s apartment outlook, despite the current softness, for a number of reasons.

It has become much more supply constrained, especially in the core area. Also, the building and approval process has become much more difficult. While many lenders might find those reasons not to like Denver, Brooks notes such barriers of entry can be an advantage to an institution with the financial strength of WaMu.

“A recent report recently said Denver was No. 1 for being in the ‘red’ zone,” Brooks told the audience. “We think they’re wrong.”

The same thing was said about Portland, OR a few years ago, where WaMu has $500 million invested, he says. That market has been a gold mine for WaMu.

Brooks says Denver still has tremendous appeal for 20- to 35-year-olds.

“Denver scores very well on the ‘hip’ and ‘cool’ meter,” he says. It also is a leader in lifestyle issues vs. growth, an important distinction, he adds.

“That’s why we’re not playing in Texas,” he says. “The attitude there is growth for growth’s sake. To me, that’s going to make it like LA, and I’m from southern California. It’s classic boom and bust. When you add another 10,000 units when the demand is not there, it gets ugly. You see prices fall from $80,000 to $12,000 per unit.”

The Denver area, he says, will have much more controlled growth, which should equal market stability.

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
  • 3 free articles* across the ALM subscription network every 30 days
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM events and publications

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?

GlobeSt

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 © 2020 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.