Forum Spotlight: GSE/Multifamily Lenders
February 13, 2023
Together, Emily, Kate, Bill, Alonzo, and Jason form the “Leadership Working Group” for CREFC’s GSE/Multifamily Lenders Forum. Importantly this group sets the agendas and priorities for the Forum, as well as represents their constituencies on CREFC’s Policy Committee.
Key GSE/Multifamily Lenders Focus Areas
- FHFA Scorecard: Affordable housing goals now based on percentage of total rather than absolute dollars
- Continued housing shortage and how the agencies can help; big “A” affordable
- Trends in agency credit underwriting and loan structures
What they're saying: Conversation at CREFC’s January conference focused on recent rent growth; panelists agreed 10%-20% rent growth is likely over for now, but that multi fundamentals remain solid. The pricing impasse between buyers and sellers remains, yet some semblance of market stability would bring increased transactions in the second half of 2023.
Economic volatility, specifically rising rates and record high cap costs, has motivated the agencies to get creative on shorter-term fixed-rate offerings:
- Five- and seven-year terms with flexible prepay options are gaining momentum
- Freddie Mac is issuing more single-property/single-pool securities (PCs); many with 5- and 7-year terms
- Fannie Mae also is seeing an increase in 5- and 7-year production; gaining popularity are loans with a 5-year term and 3-year yield maintenance structure
So far, investor demand has met supply, despite some investors at CREFC’s Miami conference expressing doubt about demand for short-term securities with wider windows.
Speculation persists on the fate of multifamily loans originated by debt funds and others in 2020-2022 given today’s higher rates and reduced liquidity. Conference goers discussed the potential necessity for mezzanine and preferred equity, rescue capital, distressed sales, or cash-in agency take outs.
Key policy issues:
- Addressing a threat to 144A bond market including SASB CMBS and CRE CLOs
- Advocating for a multifamily exemption from the revised Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) multifamily reporting requirements.
- SEC’s climate reporting rule and other proposed regulations.
- Passage and implementation of the LIBOR Act for tough legacy contracts.
- White House initiated “Blueprint for a Renters Bill of Rights,” including some administrative actions by federal agencies, with the goal to increase and preserve affordable housing and to ensure that housing is safe and fair.
What’s next: Forum leaders are seeking nominations for the next Chair Elect to join their leadership slate and look forward to presenting CREFC members with an update on their forum at the Annual June Conference in New York City.
To join the GSE/Multifamily Lenders Forum, please register here. For any forum related questions, please contact Kathleen Olin.