CMBS market plays significant role in U.S CRE Finance industry, says MBA

CMBS market plays significant role in U.S CRE Finance industry, says MBA

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) has released a new white paper, Role of CMBS in the Financing of Commercial and Multifamily Real Estate in America, which gives an overview of the CMBS (commercial mortgage-backed securities) market and highlights the vital role it plays as a capital source for the financing of commercial real estate.

“MBA is a strong advocate for its commercial/multifamily membership, and this white paper is designed to educate members and industry stakeholders about the significant value and innovation that commercial mortgage-backed securities bring to the overall market,” said Bill Killmer, MBA Interim Head of CREF and Senior Vice President of Legislative & Political Affairs.

“CMBS lenders provide the necessary capital that finances infrastructure where individuals in large and small communities live, work and play,” he added.

MBA’s white paper highlights how the securitization technology utilized in CMBS provides a variety of investor benefits, including diversification with exposure to varied sponsors and collateral in different markets, as well as the ability for investors to purchase a mix of securities with differing risk profiles depending on their risk appetite.

Seven key factors are explained as to why private label CMBS is important to the commercial real estate finance landscape. CMBS lenders:

  • Are natural providers of long term fixed-rate, and in some cases, floating rate capital to secondary and tertiary markets, where capital was not as plentiful prior to the development of CMBS;
  • Diversify risk in the system by distributing investments with risk/return characteristics that are catered to investor needs;
  • Can play a critical role when other capital sources become constrained due to economic or regulatory issues, as occurred in the 1990s or due to concentrations (i.e. banks can only have so much exposure to one borrower or market, etc.);
  • Are consistently in the market for loan opportunities, albeit with the volatility of the capital markets being a feature of the product;
  • Are providers of a wide variety of non-recourse, assumable loans of various sizes – characteristics which are attractive to sponsors;
  • Will lend on a wide range of property types, borrowers and geographic locations; and
  • Have provided standardization of underwriting, reporting and documentation that has benefited both CMBS borrowers and investors, as well as the broader commercial real estate finance industry through increased transparency.

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“CMBS is a unique capital source with innovative securitization technology, and it remains a vital component of the over $3.5 trillion commercial real estate finance(CRE Finance) industry,” said Chris LaBianca, Managing Director, UBS, and 2020 Vice Chair of MBA’s Commercial Real Estate/Multifamily Finance Board of Governors (COMBOG).

“Borrowers, investors and communities across America are better off for having CMBS as an additional source of liquidity.” 

The white paper was authored by LaBianca, Erin Stafford, Managing Director – Head of North American CMBS at DBRS Morningstar, Joseph Forte, Partner at Sullivan & Worchester, and Andrew Foster, MBA Associate Vice President of CREF. A copy can be viewed here.