Real estate experts: Local lending on the rise

Lending for commercial real estate is starting to loosen.

That was the consensus from Tuesday afternoon’s Commercial Real Estate Women of Greater Cincinnati Commercial Lending State of the Industry Bank Panel, at the Hilton Netherland Cincinnati Plaza hotel.

“We are out, and we are doing business,” said Shawn Kennedy, vice president, commercial real estate finance with First Financial Bank .

The panel, moderated by Tom Powers, executive managing director and principal with Cassidy Turley    , included Kennedy; Kevin Donovan, vice president of commercial real estate with Fifth Third Bank   ; Mary Becker, relationship manager of commercial banking with Stock Yards Bank   & Trust Co.; Karen Dunevant, vice president of commercial real estate with U.S. Bank    ; and Pamela Weber, senior vice president with PNC Real Estate Finance.

Donovan said banks are like many corporations, they have a lot of capital they are sitting on, but have been waiting to make investments because of uncertainty.

“All of us are very liquid,” he said.

In talking with a number of those attending the event, they told me that lenders are reaching out to make deals. Local lenders have been particularly active, they said.

But not all real estate is equal and lenders are being more selective. Multifamily properties are hot right now, Powers said, but major investors like real estate investment trusts and life insurance companies also are interested in industrial properties in core markets, those along the coasts and major markets like Chicago.

The panelists agreed, adding retail centers that are grocery anchored also are drawing interest. However, office properties are not drawing much attention.

Weber said most banks have shed their problems from the past couple of years, but they requiring a lot of information before making loans.

“We’re still lending on good real estate with well-capitalized borrowers,” she said.

Source:  Business Courier

Demeropolis covers retail, real estate, Kroger and Macy’s


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