Publications

- September 1, 2021: Vol. 15, Number 8

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To the speedy go the spoils: Fleet-of-foot alternative lenders have morphed into decisive players in the real estate financing market

by Lukas Endl

There can be little doubt now that the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated numerous existing trends, from people increasingly working from home to the dramatic rise of online retail. And when it comes to real estate finance, another pre-existing trend has also gained momentum as a result of the pandemic.

Before the crisis, it was already apparent that traditional lenders, such as banks and savings banks, were becoming more risk averse and were increasingly unlikely to provide the finance for portfolio acquisitions or development projects. As a result, alternative lenders were increasingly active in the market, sometimes even providing the entire financing package. The pandemic has only served to fuel the trend. So, what will the lending market look like as we emerge from this distressing period?

First off, it has to be said that the pandemic is not affecting all real estate sectors equally. Valuations of residential and grade A office properties in prime locations have s

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