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LOS ANGELES-The multifamily housing group within the CB Richard Ellis capital markets business has been designated a Fannie Mae Delegated Underwriting and Servicing lender. The new designation means that CBRE’s multifamily capital markets specialists can now originate, underwrite, close and service loans without prior approval by Fannie Mae.

The designation as a DUS underwriter follows other recent moves that CBRE has completed in order to strengthen and expand its multifamily lending platform within its capital markets business. In January, for example, the capital markets unit added a HUD/FHA-insured multifamily and health care mortgage lending capability to its multihousing group.

Brian Stoffers, Houston-based president of CBRE Capital Markets, says that these latest moves are designed to strengthen the company’s capital markets operations in response to “today’s complex market environment.” Ron Halpern, Boston-based managing director of the CBRE Multihousing Group, says that the new DUS designation will help CBRE to offer its capital markets clients the most cost-effective financing.

Halpern is responsible for overseeing the production, underwriting and closing of CBRE loans under the Fannie Mae DUS program. He also assists in the oversight of the day-to-day operations of the multihousing group and spearheads the company’s HUD/FHA initiative.

Halpern will be joined in CBRE’s Fannie Mae DUS initiative by two recent additions to the CBRE team: industry veterans Don Brais and Kyle Draeger, both of whom will be based in Boston. Brais will be responsible for the credit quality and investor compliance of the Fannie Mae DUS loans, while Draeger will oversee marketing and transaction structuring of these loans.

Brais has more than 25 years in commercial mortgage finance, including 20 years with Deutsche Bank Berkshire Mortgage, where he served as director and chief underwriter. Draeger has 12 years in the commercial mortgage finance industry with Deutsche Bank Berkshire Mortgage, where he structured or underwrote more than $2.5 billion of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or securitized loans.

The DUS designation for CBRE comes at a time when lending for multifamily properties is faring a bit better than that for some other property types, according to recently released data from the Mortgage Bankers Association. And despite tight credit in the single-family housing market, the multifamily housing industry appears to have regained momentum, even in the condo portion of the business, according to recent information from the National Association of Home Builders.

At the NAHB’s International Builders Show in Orlando recently, the group said that demographics remain favorable for multifamily housing, according to a report from the Mortgage Bankers’ Association. The NAHB cited a record of 35.7 million renter households in the US, surpassing the previous high of 35.6 million set in 1994.

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