Magazine article Mortgage Banking

On the Horizon

Magazine article Mortgage Banking

On the Horizon

Article excerpt

After some bleak times during the last few years, the real estate finance industry is ready for a turnaround. But will it come in 2011? Or will lenders have to wait another year beyond that?

Well, it depends. The experts have different forecasts depending on your niche. It turns out, for example, multifamily is doing pretty well. So if that's your line of business, you're in luck. But if office lending or condo lending are your game--you'd better find a comfortable chair. Or if your business is home lending in parts of Florida, the sun isn't coming up anytime soon. We cover all these stories this month.

For the good news about the multifamily market, see Kim Fernandez's story "A Quick Turnaround." For the low-down on the office market and other commercial property trends, read Jamie Woodwell's "Viva el Cycle." For a look at the Florida residential real estate market (including the glut of condos for sale), read Steve Bergsman's "The Sun Also Rises (Eventually)."

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But for the macro story, we turn to two economists with the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA)--Mike Fratantoni and Joel Kan. In their article "Overcast but Clearing in 2011," we hear what really will be driving mortgage lending conditions in the coming year. Some of the bad news they deliver is this: "The unemployment rate will remain above 9 percent in 2011, and over 8 percent well through 2012." They top off that bit of bad news with the view that "the housing sector is still crawling along the bottom, as home prices continue to fall by most measures. …

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