When Arenda Capital Management LLC bought an Atlanta apartment complex whose owners defaulted on a $26 million loan, they did something distressed investors rarely do: They paid full price, deciding not to wait for lender LNR Partners to foreclose and face competition from other acquirers.
“If I don’t buy the deal, then it may be 12 to 24 months before I’d have another chance to buy it, and they still may not be selling unless I make them whole,” said Ryan Millsap, managing principal at Los Angeles-based Arenda, which bought the 592-unit property in October.
Demand for U.S. apartment buildings is surging as the homeownership rate hovers near the lowest level since 1998 and government-supported mortgage companies provide record levels of financing for apartment properties. That’s fueling a rush by investors to buy buildings and helping lenders recover 75 percent of the value of defaulted mortgages tied to multifamily housing, the highest recovery rate on all commercial property.
Sales of U.S. apartment properties totaled $3.8 billion in January, a 53 percent increase from the same month a year earlier, the strongest start to the year compared with offices, and shopping centers, according to Real Capital Analytics Inc., a New York-based commercial property data firm.
Fannie, Freddie LoansThe dollar volume of multifamily loan originations by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac hit an all-time high in the fourth quarter, according to a Mortgage Bankers Association index that has tracked the data for 11 years. The government-supported entities increased lending by selling $33.9 billion of bonds tied to apartment buildings last year, from $21.6 billion in 2010, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
“Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae originate a huge portion of the loans out there for apartments,” said Ben Carlos Thypin, director of market analysis for Real Capital Analytics Inc. “If a buyer can secure cheap financing, whether from a government sponsored entity or elsewhere, that allows them to be able to pay more for a property.”
Read More: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-03-07/recovery-on-commercial-property-fueled-by-apartments-mortgages.html
Ben Carlos Thypin
I am currently the co-founder of Quantierra, the world's first data driven real estate brokerage and investment manager. In my former life as Director of Market Analysis at Real Capital Analytics, I worked with press outlets large and small to provide them with great data and insightful commentary. Here are some of the results of this collaboration. For the rest, please check out the News Archive.