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Pre-Conference Greg Smith Berkadia Q & A

Berkadia’s Greg Smith in Spotlight Leading up to Connect Texas Multifamily

Connect Texas Multifamily 2022 is only weeks away. As a preview to the August 16 event we are rounding up some industry leaders to give a preview of what you might expect during the panel discussions. Our first industry leader is Greg Smith. Greg is the Senior Managing Director of Investment Sales with at Berkadia’s Dallas office.

Greg Smith/Berkadia

Greg is responsible for business development, client relationships, and transaction management in Texas and the Southwest region. Greg has over 20 years of experience in multifamily and commercial real estate and has been involved in over $8 billion of real estate transactions for both institutional and private parties. Prior to joining Berkadia, Greg was a Partner at Moran & Company.  Greg also has experience in commercial banking and public accounting and has held positions with Goldman Sachs and The Walt Disney Company.  Greg has an MBA in Finance from Texas Christian University and a BBA in Accounting from Texas A&M University.  He is a licensed CPA and real estate broker in Texas.

Q1:  I know you were a commercial banker in a past life. Even up until a week or so ago, I was reporting on real estate investors getting some properties refinanced, even with the doubling of rates. Not as many lately. Is the refi loan market dead?  Or do you think there are still opportunities for lenders in that market?  

There are still opportunities to make refi loans as well as acquisition loans.  The lending market remains fluid with changes every week, but it does seem to be stabilizing and investors/borrowers have had time adjust to the material changes in rates and other terms.  With confidence in where the debt markets are heading, these groups will be more incline to make decisions on new loans.  On the other hand, there has been a lot of early refinancings executed in recent years taking advantage of historically low rates and attractive proceeds, so the universe of potential refinancing is already going to be lower.

Q2: A New York commercial real estate investor recently sold off his multifamily portfolio of Sunbelt properties because he said he thinks it may be over-cooked. Do you think that sentiment is growing in the investment community, or do you still see opportunity the Sunbelt, Texas in particular?  

There is absolutely still opportunity in the sunbelt.  The market probably was a little over-cooked but we have experienced the correction already with the changes in the capital markets, which is creating opportunities for investors that are actively buying.  The fundamental attraction in Texas, Florida, Arizona and other sunbelt locations is that they are housing short.  The in-migration of people and corporate transfers to warm locations with business-friendly environments means the growing demand for housing exceeds new supply.  With this dynamic comes very attractive rent growth (currently double digits in many cases) which, in turn, supports continued value appreciation.  New supply of housing is also being tempered by material construction cost increases, difficulties in obtaining appropriate residential zoning, and rising interest rates.

Q3: Do you think the in-migration of so many people to Texas will make it less susceptible to downturns than in states like California, New York, and Illinois, that are losing population? 

Yes, I do think that will be the case.  Growth can help overcome a lot of challenges.  I’ve recently had an investor tell me that they will only be buying investment properties in Texas and other Southern states going forward and no longer in New York or Chicago where they have traditionally invested.  I think this is indicative of the concerns there are with some of the higher regulatory, higher cost, and higher tax locations that are seeing people move out.  Having said that, California is a wonderful place to live and will always hold an attraction and places like New York and Chicago also have special environments that can’t be replicated.  So they will find ways to weather downturns as they come, but Texas and other Sunbelt states will have an advantage due to the growing economies.

For more information on Connect Texas Multifamily 2022 you’ll find it here.


Inside The Story

About Mike Boyd

Mike covers our Texas and Phoenix/Southwest regions. He is a veteran news reporter who spent 10 years in radio and television news, mostly in Tucson, Arizona. Following his career in the media, he spent ten years as a communications executive for a publicly traded development company. Mike is married with three boys and three Huskies.

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