Office lending for banks has been one of the better-performing sectors of commercial real estate (CRE) for banks for some time. Even during the pandemic, the credit on office loans is doing surprisingly well. The question arises, what happens in the future? Will it be business as usual post-pandemic? Will companies take more space to provide for social distancing, 25% of the space as they go mainly to remote workers or 50% of the space to handle a hybrid remote work culture?
It may seem counter-intuitive, but many banks are loosening CRE underwriting standards instead of continuing to tighten them. With a new presidential administration, it is likely that we will face more stringent pandemic mitigations in the near future. While this is likely good for public health, it increases the short-term risk for commercial real estate (CRE). Offsetting this risk is the possibility of a vaccine and therapeutics.
While several commercial real estate (CRE) sectors are showing signs of stress, the industrial sector is one of the few bank credit lines that are improving. Companies gained confidence at the end of the second quarter and started to lease more space. As such, weekly leasing activity jumped back to pre-Covid-19 levels after hitting a low in mid-April. In this article, we take a quick look at national CRE industrial sector economics and explain why banks may want to consider reallocating more capital to this area.
Covid-19 and the responses to the pandemic are exerting various pressures on community banks. How a community bank underwrites and books commercial credit through the end of 2020 will have a significant impact on the bank’s profits and credit quality through the entire next business cycle. In this article, we focus on four key steps of what banks can do to continue to add earning assets to their balance sheet.
While it is too soon to get the data on bank commercial real estate (CRE) portfolio delinquencies and forbearances, we take our benchmarks from the commercial mortgage-backed securities market as of May 14th. As any commercial banker can tell you, hospitality and retail remain under the most pressure, jumping up more than 5x and 3x, respectively. Office delinquencies are up 71%, month-over-month, industrial properties remain relatively unchanged while Other (self-storage, specialty, etc.) is up 3.5x.
In past articles, we discussed a proposed Coronavirus stress test under CCAR (HERE) and provided our COVID-19 probabilities of default and loss given defaults for a model bank portfolio (HERE). In this article, we update our CRE modeling and take a deeper dive into loan-level analysis in order to help banks triage and manage both individual credits and their portfolio-level reserves.
There is now little doubt that the coronavirus will spread globally and will cause more supply and demand shocks in the market. While economic activity will slow, the amount and duration of the slowdown are big unknowns. Community banks may not have exposure to Chinese markets and may not have significant exposure to the energy sector.
Government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) have been lending to borrowers for many decades. The Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) have popular multifamily lending programs so much so that they now control the bulk of the market. For example, Freddie Mac’s total multifamily finance activity for 2018 was $77.5B, and Fannie Mae’s was $65.4B which means that if you have to compete, your bank needs to do so carefully as you have a high probability of getting adversely selected.
In past articles, we have talked at length about using agile methodology for application development, for technical product innovation, and for your risk processes. We are fans of forsaking the traditional “waterfall” approach for new products whenever possible and getting to marketing in a pilot program as quickly as possible so you can learn and iterate to success.
Much has been written about the merits of community banks developing banking expertise around specific verticals. We recently worked with a bank that won the banking mandate for a family-run funeral home. At first we were surprised that the term loan was 93% LTV. But when we looked at the entire underwriting package and the borrower’s financials (showing 3.2X DSCR) we recognized the importance of understanding industry specifics and how the funeral industry might be a perfect fit for many community banks.
The Merits of Specializing