By Dees Stribling, Contributing Editor
Needham, Mass.—Earlier this month, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported that multifamily lending increased a whopping 114 percent between the second quarter of 2010 and the second quarter of 2011, much of which was during 2Q11 itself, which saw a quarter-over-quarter increase of 47 percent in multifamily lending. Clearly, lenders are jumping into the game with both hands, now that the increasing demand for multifamily properties is clear.
One rapidly growing player in the sector is CWCapital, which reports that it has closed $1.8 billion in loans during the first seven months of 2011 through its agency lending platform. The company is on track to close more than $3 billion in loans for the year, a growth surge it attributes to a confluence of positive factors, and the urge to make hay while the sun shines.
“As all experts in this sector know, the strength of the multifamily arena is a result of the continuing decrease in homeownership, along with positive demographics for the renter population, and the relative lack of new supply of multifamily units in the past two years—and projected for 2012 to 2013 as well,” Michael D. Berman, president and CEO of Needham, Mass.-based CWCapital and chairman of the MBA, tells MHN. “Our increase in multifamily lending is reflective of these big-picture dynamics, the foundation of which is the strength of the multifamily property sector and the consistent lending posture of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and FHA.”
Many lenders are similarly experiencing strong production in 2011, Berman continues, and now is the time to find more talent to do even more deals. “We have increased our market share by hiring some of the best talent in the U.S. over the past 24 months,” he notes.
In anticipation of lending volume growth, the company increased its loan origination platform by 13 professionals in 2010 and is in the process of adding 20 more in 2011. Recent hires include Steven Heller, a 20-year veteran who recently opened a new production office for the company in central New Jersey to serve the New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut markets.
“We have [also] attracted new high-quality customers, who are continuing to bring us a high-volume transactions,” says Berman. “As we expanded in 2011 into the life company lending world and the gap equity world, as well as re-launched our bridge and conduit programs, we will continue to grow.”