Debt catches fire: Growing popularity of U.S. commercial real estate lending attracts global players
The commercial real estate debt market is in a very healthy state today as borrowers benefit from high capital availability because of favorable market fundamentals supporting lender demand. A large but responsible level of capital, available from a variety of sources and across an array of structures, has been supporting refinancing of quality properties and new acquisition financing of equity transactions. This liquidity resulted in a very vibrant lending market in 2013 (continuing into 2014).
Life insurance companies and other portfolio lenders — those who tend to make loans to keep on their own balance sheets through maturity — were very active in the past year. For instance, according to the American Council of Life Insurers, life insurance companies originated $52.5 billion of commercial mortgages in 2013, which was about $7 billion more than they closed in each of the prior two years. Likewise, Wall Street firms, which tend to make loans that are pool