WASHINGTON, DC-Small commercial real estate borrowers are still struggling to secure loans from lenders—and Dodd-Frank is one of the leading reasons why, according to economists at the National Association of Realtors. Even though many of the rules under the legislation have not yet been written, it is clearly having reshaping lending in this sector, NAR economist George Ratiu tells GlobeSt.com. “We are definitely seeing evidence of that, especially among lower-tier borrowers,” he says.

Ratiu says the association first saw signs of this earlier this year when it conducted the 2012 Commercial Lending survey. Borrowers that relied on local banks, credit unions, regional banks and private investors—the main sources of small business finance–all reported tighter underwriting and scarcer loans by banks that have to reserve more assets. The problem is widespread, Ratiu adds. “Some 67% of commercial realtors have had sales transaction fail due to lack of financing over the last year or so.” Besides the stricter lending requirements, Dodd-Frank is also culling banks from the herd, Ratiu says. “Dodd-Frank is leading to the closing or failure of many small banks.

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