MF Update

Multi-Family Market Update

June 14, 2018

With many investors focusing on the multi-family market as their favorite real estate asset class, it is essential to understand where multi-family properties fit in today’s dynamic capital markets. The following is a summary of how the major lender classifications look at multi-family financing.

Life Companies

  • Large overall appetite for multi-family properties, as many life companies are underweighted in apartments and are looking to increase allocations with their existing portfolio.
  • Aggressive long-term fixed rates with thin spreads that are geared to compete for low leveraged high-quality properties (rates as low as 4.00% for 10 years).
  • With interest rates still near all-time lows, life companies can provide long-term fixed rates from 10-30 years in duration.
  • Loan amounts range from $1 million – $100 million.
  • Able to finance class A, B and C properties.
  • Interest only available predicated on leverage.


  • Banks continue to provide competitive short-term loans (floating, 3, 5, 7 and 10 years).
  • Minimum loan amounts are as low as $500,000 and typically max out at $20MM.
  • Depending on the transaction, bank LTV’s can get up to 75% LTV.
  • For top-tier markets, some banks can execute at low DCR levels (1.15x)
  • While most banks tend to take on more risk, a trend has emerged to reduce LTV’s and interest only options as we get further in the economic cycle.
  • Banks continue to lure multi-family borrowers with flexible prepays and inexpensive execution.


  • Freddie and Fannie are now competing with banks in core and standard markets to gain market share.
  • Agencies continue to attract multi-family borrowers with interest only options and loan amounts up to 80% LTV.
  • Low-cost small balance Freddie and Fannie programs available for deals under $7.5MM
  • Fixed rate terms from 3-30 years.
  • Non-recourse.
  • Agency lenders are very aggressive on affordable housing and mobile home communities
  • The process can be demanding as lenders have governmental oversight.
  • Agencies are finding new ways of providing rate incentives; for example, discounts are offered for low income and environmentally conscious properties.
  • If economics allow, borrowers may obtain future funding from the agency lenders.
  • Can lend in secondary and tertiary locations.


  • High leverage available (up to 80% LTV).
  • Defeasance or yield maintenance prepayment penalties.
  • Non-recourse execution.
  • Loan amounts are typically $5 million and up.
  • 10-year fixed rates.
  • Interest only available.
  • Restrictive loan documents and higher legal expenses.

Please contact us with any questions about how to navigate the multi-family market or with any other commercial real estate financing questions.