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Greystone’s Ramos: Low Rates, Supply Shape Small Loans Segment

By Dennis Kaiser

The small loans market overall is critical to workforce housing and to an extent affordable housing, given the typical property that fits the loan parameters. Connect Media asked Ana Ramos, head of West Coast small loans at Greystone, to share insights about the trends shaping this segment of the market. Greystone was recently named No. 1 small loans producer by Fannie Mae, and is ranked No. 3 in Freddie Mac small balance loans.

She shares insights into the opportunities ahead in 2019, as well as what Fannie Mae’s raised limits mean in our latest 3 CRE Q&A.

Q: What are some of the bigger trends you are tracking at the outset of 2019 and how do you think they will impact the West Coast lending market? 
A:In the current low interest rate environment and lack of new housing supply, multifamily will continue to be in demand and on the rise. And, since there are more renters making a choice to rent a more luxury apartment in a desirable location rather than to purchase a home, rents are moving at an upward direction while vacancies remain low.

Q: What are the opportunities you see ahead for the year on the West Coast, and how can investors adjust to capture them?  
A:Credit appears to be tightening a bit and may continue during 2019 with perceived volatility continuing. Banks are likely to be less aggressive, so agency (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac) consistency in market will provide stability through volatile times should they continue. Agency pricing, interest-only, and proceeds remain very aggressive and are ready to deploy across the sector, should lack of liquidity be experienced in 2019 from banks and private capital sources.

I believe opportunities for the year ahead will fall in line with interest rates. As we ended Q4 with a 10-year Treasury well above 3.00%, the 2019 outlook was one of caution as the higher cost of debt (and consequent effect on cap rates) were seen as a braking mechanism. However, with a 10-year Treasury now below 2.70%, the market is perked up and refinance analyses are making more sense. We hope this trend continues through the year.

Q: How will Fannie Mae’s raised limits for small loans to $6 million in all markets affect this sector in 2019 and beyond? 
A:This will provide more capital and liquidity to the small loan market, which will help increase Fannie Mae’s affordable workforce housing mission. As Fannie Mae’s No. 1 small loans lender in 2018, we see incredible opportunity for the affordable and workforce housing markets with this new development.


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For comments, questions or concerns, please contact Dennis Kaiser

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About Dennis Kaiser

Dennis Kaiser is Vice President of Content and Public Relations for Connect Commercial Real Estate. Dennis is a communications leader with more than 30 years of experience including as a journalist and in corporate and agency marketing communications roles. He is responsible for Connect’s client content operations and is involved in a range of initiatives ranging from content strategy, message development, copywriting, media relations, social media and content marketing services. In his most recent corporate communications roles, he led a regional public relations effort across Southern California for CBRE, played a key marketing role on JLL’s national retail team, and was responsible for directing the global public relations effort at ValleyCrest, the nation’s largest commercial landscape services company. In addition to his vast commercial real estate experience, Dennis has worked on communications and launch strategies for a number of residential projects such as Disney’s Celebration in Florida, Ritter Ranch in Palmdale California (7,200 homes, 22,000 acres), WaterColor in Florida and PremierGarage in Phoenix. Dennis’s agency background included firms such as Idea Hall and Macy + Associates. He has earned an outstanding reputation with organization leaders as a trusted advisor, strategic program implementer, consensus builder and exceptional collaborator. Dennis has developed and managed national communications programs for Fortune 500 companies to start-ups, both public and private. He’s successfully worked with journalists across the globe representing clients involved in major-breaking news stories, product launches, media tours, and company news announcements. Dennis has been involved in a host of charitable and community organizations including the American Cancer Society, Easter Seals, BoyScouts, Chrysalis Foundation, Freedom For Life, HOLA, L.A.’s BEST, Reach Out and Read, Super Bowl Host Committee, and Thunderbirds Charities.

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