Tag Archive : market

What Is Mark-to-Market Accounting

The Big Boys, the ladies and men who make and arrange the really huge commercial real estate loans, have their own specialized language.  You can think of it as advanced commercial mortgage-ese.  Today we’ll discuss one of their underwriting terms, mark-to-market (MTM) accounting in real estate.

Mark-to-market accounting assigns a value to real estate assets based on what the property could command on the market if it were sold today.  This often means assigning a value based on the current market rents for the building, as opposed to the actual rent being generated from existing tenants.

Now let’s use mark-to-market accounting is some real life deals:

When Boston Properties acquired the General Motors building for a record $2.8 billion in June of 2008, it internally assigned a value based on the current market rents for the building, as opposed to the actual rent being generated from existing tenants.  The company noted that the average rent being paid at the GM building was $90 a square foot, which it said was half the current market rent of $180 per square foot.  This MTM analysis played a significant part on its decision to buy the property.

Here is another one, which I pulled from a closing tombstone in FinFacts, the bi-monthly newsletter of George Smith Partners, one of the largest commercial mortgage banking firms in the country.

Pop Quiz:

What’s the difference the a commercial mortgage banker and a commercial mortgage broker?  Commercial mortgage bankers retain the servicing on the commercial real estate loans that they originate for life companies and the Agencies.  The Agencies include Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, HUD, and Ginnie Mae.

And what have I been preaching to you for decades?  The real money in commercial real estate finance is in loan servicing fees.  A commercial mortgage broker is often a poor person.  A commercial mortgage banker is usually a rich person.

Okay, so here is the MTM language from FinFacts:

“George Smith Partners secured a $4,500,000 refinance for a 13,051 SF mixed-use property in West Hollywood. The loan is fixed at a rate of 3.92% for a 5-year term.  At close, the Property had four month-to-month leases in place, plus two cell tower leases.  This was problematic since some lenders would not include MTM income or cell tower income in their underwritten cash flow.  Although several lenders offered a competitive interest rate, they used a high stress rate when applying their debt coverage ratio constraint.  As a result, most lenders quoted proceeds of less than 45% LTV.”

“The selected lender was able to mitigate the impact of these challenges by using a lower stress rate, giving full credit for MTM leases and including the cell tower income. As a result, they were able to provide proceeds of 50% LTV at a fixed rate under 4%.”

Sadly My Predictions of Stock Market Doom Were Accurate:

On Sunday I wrote:

“Even if COVID-19 never gets out of control in the U.S., hundreds of thousands of small businesses in China are in serious trouble, especially with tens of millions of their workers confined to their homes. The owners of most small businesses in China have no more than four months worth of operating expenses in savings, and small businesses employ 60% of China’s workers.”

“And the thing is, many of these small Chinese companies manufacture parts for American companies. As a result, the worldwide supply chain has been shaken. We can’t manufacture our own high-value goods without many essential parts coming from China. Container ships coming in from China are coming back only 25% full.”

“…A worldwide pandemic is a virtual certainty.  I am writing this article on Sunday afternoon. It will be interesting to see if the U.S. stock market gets hammered on Monday.

Unfortunately, the stock market lost more than 1,000 points on Monday, and it has been getting hammered ever since.

You guys are my buddies, and I am trying to warn you.  The consequences of this virus are far, far greater than the precious lives that the world will lose.  Small business owners in China have been traumatized.  They are NOT going to be borrowing more money from their banks.

Grasp the concept that the multiplier effect, in a world of fractional banking, can work in reverse at the rate of 20:1.  If a Chinese bank takes in a $1,000 monthly loan payment, and it does not immediately recycle that payment into a new loan, a whopping $20,000 gets sucked out of the Chinese money supply.

Now get your mind around the shocking reality that Chinese banks rake in on the order of US$4 billion per month in loan payments.  If these banks have no willing borrowers to whom to lend, the unfathomable sum of US$1 trillion will disappear every year from the Chinese money supply.

Money is going to be destroyed in China like it is being sucked into a black hole.  A tidal wave of deflation is likely to sweep over the world.  Your $1 million home might be worth just $550,000 in 20 months, even if the authorities can mass-produce a vaccine before the end of the year.

Borrowers have been traumatized, and traumatized borrowers seldom borrow.  The government cannot force companies and people to borrow, so the world’s money supply is headed down a giant drain.  You will see deflation everywhere because no one will have any money.

Think ‘ole George is crazy?  Think back to the depths of the Great Recession, when Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke injected a whopping $4 trillion into the U.S. money supply.  (Remember all of that talk about the Fed’s big balance sheet?) Why didn’t we have runaway hyperinflation?  Because the Fed was merely replacing the $4 trillion worth of money that was destroyed when banks stopped lending and borrowers stopped borrowing during the Great Recession.

I sold all of my stocks and invested in a short fund eight days ago.  As my golf buddies would say, when I occasionally sink a long putt, “Even a blind squirrel finds a nut on occasion.”  Haha!  

Or maybe I am one of a small handful of folks who understand that the multiplier effect can work in reverse.  I remember reading a wonderful economics book, by James Dale Davidson, entitled The Great Reckoning, in the mid-1990’s.  In about the middle of the book, in the middle of some chapter, he briefly mentioned, “that under some circumstances, the multiplier effect can actually work in reverse.”  I remember the blood suddenly rushing to my head, and tiny pins and needles suddenly sweeping all over my body.  “Oh, my God!”

So in 2007, a year before the Great Recession, I wrote the financial novel, The Reverse Multiplier Effect, When Crushing Deflation Destroys America.  At the time, the concept of deflation was unfathomable, even to most investment advisors.  My book prescient.  During the Great Recession, trillions of dollars were destroyed, as banks took in loan payments and did not recycle them.  Only the heroism and determination of Helicopter Ben Bernanke and his injection of $4 trillion saved this country.

Deflation is coming.

Article Provided By  By George Blackburne

How To Market Your Commercial Real Estate Loan Business

All too often I see small business owners missing the mark with their marketing. Sure, it’s easy to do when you specialize in a specific industry niche and you spend your time engulfed in industry sector jargon. However, it’s best to put yourself in your potential customer’s shoes and think your marketing through from their perspective, addressing their most important questions. Your customers want to be able to trust you, to know you are looking out for their interests and that you don’t just see them with Dollar Signs in your sunglasses.

Below is a sample page, perhaps good for a website, brochure, email, or letter. Why not look this over and consider how you might form your own message. Use your own voice, your own style and remember you are talking to your customer across the table for the first time. You know what questions they will ask. Show that you care, that you are working for them, and will go out of your way to get them the best rates, and great service. Here is the sample:

Commercial Real Estate Loans

Are you looking to purchase an income property such as an apartment building, small office building, or retail center? Would you like to put several rental properties in your real estate portfolio into one commercial mortgage? Wish to find a suitable piece of land and develop that property? Do you need a loan for acquisition and construction?

Do you want to buy a business property with a business on it; a restaurant, carwash, service station, laundry mat, hotel, etc.? Are you looking for a commercially zoned property with a warehouse or industrial building on it? Are you expanding an existing business and/or want to own the property under your business rather than paying the monthly lease?

Are you in the agricultural sector, looking for specifically zoned farming property; land for a vineyard, orchard, or crop such as berries, vegetables, or flowers? We have significant experience to make this happen. Our area in Southern CA has one of the best climates in the world, and incredible top soil for growing almost anything.

We can assist with all types of commercial real estate loans including government-guaranteed loans such as FHA, USDA, and HUD. If you are looking for an SBA 7(a) loan or a CDC/SBA 504 loan for commercial real estate we can get it done.

We can assist you with traditional commercial mortgages, commercial bridge loans, or commercial hard money loans. We also have lines on non-traditional sources for hard money commercial real estate loans, which are custom tailored to you needs for complicated projects outside the normal scope of typical commercial real estate loans and mortgage offerings.

— — — —

Why not try something like this? Just because the Federal Reserve has raised rates doesn’t mean you have to let new deals and new clients move to your competitors. I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.

Lance Winslow has launched a new provocative series of eBooks on Innovation in America. Lance Winslow is a retired Founder of a Nationwide Franchise Chain, and now runs the Online Think Tank; http://www.worldthinktank.net.

Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/Lance_Winslow/5306

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/10053305

Commercial Lending And a Market Crash

The Coronavirus Crisis is now the fourth commercial real estate crash that I have experienced in my forty years of running our family commercial mortgage company, Blackburne & Sons.  They seem to happen about once every twelve years.  Each time commercial real estate fell by exactly 45%.

To those of you who are commercial loan brokers, you should keep working!  There is some serious money to be made during these crashes.  The old, savvy real estate investors know that the best time to invest is when blood is running in the street.

The first commercial real estate crash began in 1986, when President Reagan changed the income tax laws to eliminate the tax shelters previously provided by commercial real estate.

Prior to 1986, a surgeon earning, say, $500,000 per year could shelter, say, $150,000 of his income from taxation by buying highly-leveraged apartment buildings or commercial properties.  The depreciation from these rental properties provided a paper loss – often without too much of a negative cash flow.  These paper losses could be used to reduce the amount of the physician’s taxable income.

When rich guys could no longer use depreciation to shelter their earned income – bam – the value of commercial real estate suddenly plunged like a falling rock.  By the time the crash was over, commercial real estate values had fallen by a whopping 45%.  Please remember that number – 45%.

Savings and Loan Associations (“S&L’s) were heavily invested in first mortgages on commercial properties.  By 1992, one-third of them had failed.  The Resolution Trust Corporation (“RTC”) came in, closed up 3,234 of these S&L’s, and then sold off their foreclosed apartment buildings and office buildings at fire-sale prices.

The RTC offered these buildings at just 50% of an already-depressed fair market value, but the purchase had to be for all cash.  Since 95% of banks in the country were out of the commercial real estate loan market, hard money brokers had an absolute field day.  So did the commercial loan brokers who stayed in the market, originating commercial loans for them.  (Please read that last sentence again.)

In October of 2002, the NASDAQ crashed by 78%, when most of the big dot-com stocks melted down.  Commercial real estate crashed by 45% during the Dot-Com Meltdown.  Once again, there is that magical number:  45%.

Once again, almost all of the banks pulled out of the commercial lending market in 2002, and they stayed out for more than four years.  Banks are nothing but a bunch of frightened herd animals.  Once the bottom (nadir) of the real estate cycle had been found, banks should have been making commercial loans like crazy.

During every one of the commercial real estate crashes in my lifetime, commercial real estate fell by 45%.  After hitting a bottom about two-and-half years into each crisis, commercial real estate recovered to new highs within three years.

But I was thrilled that the banks were a bunch of scarety-cats.  Surviving hard money shops (“Aye, there’s the rub,”), like Blackburne & Sons, made a killing after the Dot-Com Meltdown.  We were the only guys at an all-girls school dance.  Our best commercial loan brokers, who brought us all of our deals, made a killing too.

During the Great Recession, commercial real estate once again fell by 45%.  There is that number, 45%, again.  Just as during the previous crises, the banks immediately dropped out of the commercial loan market, and they stayed out of the market for far too long.

Hundreds and hundreds of hard money mortgage companies also closed up shop during the Great Recession, leaving Blackburne & Sons, and just a handful of others, as the last men standing.  Once again, as the only guys at the dance, we all found lots of dance partners.  We made a ton of superb quality loans.  The commercial loan brokers who brought us these deals made a fortune.

Why did so many competing hard money shops close their doors?  Answer:  Because most of them were structured as funds.  As soon as the crises hit, all of their investors lined up to withdraw their investments.  Previously, these mortgage funds made 85% of their money by making new commercial loans and earning new loan fees.  With no new money flowing into their funds, these hard money shops had no dough with which to make new loans and to earn new loan fees with which to make make payroll.

The situation is even worse today for hard money shops.  Ninety-five percent of them are structured as mortgage funds – as opposed to just 55% of them before the Great Recession.  Your favorite hard money commercial lender?  I’d be surprised if it ever made a commercial loan again.

Do you own a hard money commercial mortgage fund.  Don’t be pissed at me for telling the truth.  You’re screwed, but you can still save your company.  Announce to your investors immediately that you are now charging 390 basis points (3.9%) for loan servicing fees and property management fees.

The single best thing you can do for your hard money investors is to stay in business –  calling for late payments, force-placing fire insurance, exercising your assignment of rents, getting receivers appointed, moving properties out of Chapter 11, hiring property security companies, cleaning up the properties, winterizing the properties, renovating the properties, renting the properties, and selling the properties.

Yeah, your private investors will be pissed at you for awhile.  Remember, however, that most of then are invested in several different hard money mortgage funds.  When their other hard money shops close up entirely, their whole attitude will change.  The portfolios of these competing mortgage funds will get devastated by vandals, breaking pipes, and even worse, by greedy attorneys and their fees.  Your investors will bless you for raising their loan servicing fees and property management fees, thereby staying in business.

Anyway, now back to the needs of our commercial loan brokers.  Blackburne & Sons doesn’t use a mortgage fund.  We syndicate every new commercial loan that we make – maybe 30 investors or so per deal.

Now the sexy thing about being a syndicator is that wealthy private investors always have dough to invest.  It’s merely a matter a price (interest rate).  Therefore Blackburne & Sons intends to stay in the market, making commercial real estate loans, every single day of the Coronavirus Crisis – just like we did during the S&L Crisis, the Dot-Com Meltdown, and the Great Recession.

If you are a commercial loan broker, your eyes should be seeing dollar signs right now.  The banks are now out-of-the-market, and so are 95% of the commercial hard money mortgage funds.  Commercial loan brokers by the tens of thousands have probably resolved to find another occupation.

Because of the Coronavirus Crisis, commercial real estate is likely to once again fall by 45%.  All of the banks will soon be out of the market.  They will no longer be competing against you.  You have broken into the clear.  The businessmen near you who own commercial real estate surely need money, and you know one of the few commercial lenders still making loans.   Go feast!

Contact every business owner you know who owns commercial real estate.  Do you need cash?  Seriously, who doesn’t need cash right now?

By George Blackburne

CMBS Hotel Lenders Are Out of the Commercial Loan Market

No sooner had I written a blog post last week about the attractiveness of CMBS loan rates right now, than I got a message for one of my subscribers informing me that conduits are no longer making hotel loans.

By the way, CMBS lenders are still making their large permanent loans on the Four Basic Food Groups – multifamily, office, retail, and industrial – at incredibly low interest rates today.

It makes sense why the conduits have stopped making hotel loans.  Hotel occupancy rates are getting slammed right now by the Coronavirus Crisis.

Conduits make large, cookie-cutter, commercial real estate loans that are quickly aggregated into large pools and securitized into commercial mortgage-backed securities (“CMBS”).

Conduits are not portfolio lenders. They can’t just say, “Well, hotels are getting clobbered right now, but the world is not going to stop needing hotels. Since all of our commercial lending competitors are out of the hotel loan market right now, our bank will sneak in there and make a bunch of juicy loans on some of the very nicest hotels in the country.”

Because conduits are not portfolio lenders, they can’t hold commercial loans on their lines of credit for very long.  They need to sell them off quickly.  They can’t hold these loans for two years, say, until the hotel market recovers.

Conduit is short for commercial real estate mortgage investment conduit, a specialized type of commercial mortgage company that originates loans for the CMBS market.

The thing that is special about conduits is that they get to sell their loans to a special kind of trust, called a pass-through trust, created by Congress, which does not have to pay taxes on its income from these commercial mortgages.

This special pass-through trust assembles a whole bunch (100 to 300) of these large, cookie-cutter, commercial loans into a pool.  Then the trust sells pass-through securities, backed by the stream of payments and payoff’s coming from the first mortgages in this pool.  We call them pass-through securities because only the securities buyer (bond buyer) has to pay taxes on his interest income, not the pass-through trust.

Think of an old-fashioned C-corp.  The C-corp pays taxes on its net income, and then the stock owners pay taxes on their dividends.  C-Loans is a C-corp.  Yikes.  It’s a form on double-taxation.

Congress created authorized commercial mortgage investment pass-through trusts to avoid this double-taxation.  (They had created residential mortgage pass-through trusts a couple of decades earlier.)  This move to avoid double-taxation created the commercial Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduit industry (“REMIC”) industry.

By the way, a portfolio lender is a lender that makes its loans using its own dough and intends to hold these loans for the entire term.  A bank is an example of a portfolio lender.  A family office is another example of a portfolio lender.

A commercial lender using a line of credit from a bank is not a portfolio lender because the bank that is providing the line of credit is probably going to reevaluate that credit facility annually.  There is no guarantee that the bank will renew it.

Therefore, a commercial lender using a line of credit will need to sell off the commercial loans in his portfolio on a regular basis.  He won’t hold them until maturity.

Lastly, I have used the term, “large commercial loan”, throughout his article.  Conduits seldom make commercial loans of less than $5 million.

Some Thoughts on the Coronavirus Crisis:

You will recall that I made you uncomfortable (and probably bored) a few months ago when I described how the virus would soon become a pandemic and that it would cause another great recession, or possibly even a full-blown depression.

I just wanted to remind you that Chinese small business owners, who employ 60% of the Chinese workforce, have been traumatized.  They are not going to want to take on additional debt.

The Chinese Communist Party can order the Chinese banks to lend, but it can’t order small business owners to borrow.  When banks can’t find willing borrowers, yet they keep raking in monthly payments, the multiplier effect kicks into reverse.  Any monthly payment that is not recycled into a new loan reduces the Chinese money supply by a factor of twenty.

In other words, if a Chinese bank takes in a $1,000 loan payment and doesn’t immediately recycle it into a new loan, a whopping $20,000 gets sucked out of the Chinese money supply.  In the parlance of economists, $20,000 is destroyed.  During the Great Recession, about $4 trillion were destroyed.

The reason why this is important is because even if a cure, or even an effective treatment, for coronavirus is discovered today, the average Chinese small businessmen has already been traumatized.  He is not going to be borrowing even more money from the bank.

China is facing a horrible deflationary vortex, where tight money leads to company failures, which leads to employee layoffs, which leaves fewer workers with money to buy products, which leads to less demand, which leads to more company failures and more layoffs.  Its an ugly feed-forward cycle, a deflationary vortex.

If President Xi died and made me Emperor, I would put a moratorium on the loan payments on all bank consumer loans and bank business loans in the country.  The Chinese Central Bank (“CCB”) can easily replace the dough lost by the country’s banks.  After all, the dough is just digits in some computer.

Now if you hear the Chinese doing such a thing, there may be hope for us all; but absent that, prepare for a deflationary tidal wave coming out of China.  Despite what you might think, we do NOT want China to fall into riots and chaos.  They make the industrial parts and the medicines that our manufacturers need.  They buy a poop-ton of our industrial and agricultural products.  We should not wish them ill.

Article By George Blackburne