MBA’s Broeksmit: Media Coverage of CRE and Financial Stress Doesn’t Capture “the Complete Picture”
The Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) president and CEO, Bob Broeksmit, said that recent media coverage of uncertainty in commercial real estate markets hasn’t always provided an accurate picture. Reports in the Wall Street Journal, CNBC and CNN, among other outlets, have come with pretty dire headlines that don’t match up with CRE fundamentals.
“The recent bank closures and evidence of stress in other segments of the financial markets have dominated both press coverage and the conversation here in Washington and around the country,” said Broeksmit. “Lately, there has been discussion of other ‘perceived risks’ that may be impacting bank balance sheets, including commercial real estate.
“Unfortunately, some analysis and reporting can lead to perceptions that do not capture the complete picture and exacerbate anxieties during these uncertain times,” he continued.
He cited a March 21 WSJ article, “which relies on data that defines both small banks and commercial mortgage debt in ways that could lead readers to assume that important parts of the economy – in this case commercial real estate finance and banking – are far more fragile than a closer reading of the numbers would imply.”
Such a closer reading, said Broeksmit, comes from MBA’s own head of commercial real estate research, Jamie Woodwell. “MBA strips out many miscellaneous categories to focus on income-producing CRE properties, which is what we think most people generally mean when talking about the commercial real estate market,” Broeksmit said.
“That, and a more refined view of the broad range of banks in the market, brings greater clarity to the role that smaller banks play in commercial real estate markets, and the role that commercial real estate plays among smaller banks.”