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Alessia Pirolo

Finance

Mall the Right Moves

Mall REITs will likely consolidate soon--but who will absorb whom?

With approximately 80 percent of quality malls already in the hands of publicly listed companies, the mall REIT sector is already a world of big fish in a big pond.

Such fish obviously prefer large meals—sometimes consisting of one another. Still, in the small group of nine major publicly traded U.S. mall REITs, the number of possible combinations is relatively low, making deals a complex matter. Read More

Finance

The Millennial Effect

(Lorenzo Gritti)

There’s more to them than BuzzFeed, Lena Dunham and unemployment. The ascendant generation—those oft referred to as millennials—is affecting our national housing market, possibly permanently.

Battered by the financial crisis, environmentally conscious and not willing to commit to long-term investment in a property, millennials—defined by the U.S. Census Bureau as Americans between the ages of 18 to 34—are eschewing home ownership, in a departure from previous generations. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Jet Stream: Life Companies Land in Europe

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Slowly but steadily the European financing landscape is moving towards a U.S. model of lending, where banks are no longer the dominant lenders.

Life insurance companies are among the lenders that have been active in the U.S. for a long time, but only in the last few years have emerged as important players on the other side of the ocean. Read More

CMBS

CMBS 3.5?

Smaller lenders take a larger piece of the pie.

When Robert Verrone was head of Wachovia Bank’s large loan group, he closed and securitized huge deals—on 650 Madison Avenue, Donald Trump’s office tower at 40 Wall Street and Blackstone’s Boca Raton Resort & Club in Florida, to name a few.

After the government-forced sale of Wachovia to Wells Fargo to avoid the bank’s bankruptcy in 2008, Mr. Verrone started his own advisory company, Iron Hound Management Company LLC. This past January, the firm announced a new partnership with Bank of New York Mellon Corporation to form a conduit operation called IH Capital; BNY Mellon allocated $500 million of its balance sheet to the new venture. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Big Players Look to Acquire, Not Lend On, Asian Real Estate

Asian NPLs—more talk than actions

The Asian distressed market business might be the Godot of real estate finance. Investors and analysts seem to have been waiting endlessly for opportunities in non-performing loans and distressed debt. But waiting in vain, it would seem.

Appetite for Chinese and other Asian troubled assets is booming. So far this year, funds have raised over $2 billion to invest in Asian debt, up from $303 million in 2013, according to London-based researcher Preqin. According to survey from the firm, in February 2014, 17 percent of real estate investors based in North America focused on Asian investments, up from 9 percent in July 2013. Among European investors, 41 percent targeted these investments in February 2014, up from 18 percent the previous year. Read More

Mortgage Beat

Union Bank to Acquire $3.7 B. CRE Portfolio from PB Capital with a 3 Percent Premium

Masashi Oka

Union Bank, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, has reached an agreement with Deutsche Bank to acquire PB Capital Corporation’s institutional commercial real estate lending portfolio and platform. It will pay a 3 percent premium above the over $3.7 billion face amount of PB’s commercial mortgage portfolio, sources told The Mortgage Observer.

New Read More

CMBS

Fannie Mae Multifamily Head, Agency Vet Jeffery Hayward

Jeffery Hayward.

When on the road, Jeffery Hayward often carries a personally customized guide, with the addresses of all the multifamily buildings that Fannie Mae has financed in the area. Then the head of the government-sponsored enterprise’s Multifamily Mortgage Business drives from building to building.

“I want to see what we are financing,” Mr. Hayward told The Mortgage Observer recently, during a series of meetings in his Washington, D.C. office. “I have actually walked a lot of the properties that we financed—I know what they look like, I have seen the tenants.” Read More