While in most cases, CMBS loans are only allowed for individual properties or groups of properties, in some cases, one part of a mixed-use property may be eligible for CMBS refinancing. For example, if a mixed-use property is divided into residential a residential section, featuring apartments, and a retail condominium section, each owned separately, a borrower may be able to get a conduit loan to refinance only one section of the property.
Conduit loans, also known as CMBS loans, are commercial real estate loans that are pooled together with similar commercial mortgages and sold on the secondary market. CMBS loans are known for their relaxed credit requirements, but are only available for income-generating properties, and cannot typically be used as land or construction loans.
Conduit loan rates are typically based on the U.S. Treasury rate, plus a margin, or spread, designed to compensate the lender/investors for their risk. As of October 2018, the 10-year U.S. Treasury rate was 3.18%, so, for example, if the margin on a CMBS loan was 2%, the interest rate would be approximately 5.18%. CMBS loan spreads are influenced by a variety of factor
Debt Service Coverage Ratio, or DSCR, is one of the key metrics that lenders use when determining a borrower’s eligibility for a CMBS loan. DSCR can be calculated by dividing a property’s net operating income (NOI), with its annual debt service (including principal, interest, taxes, and related costs).
If you take out a CMBS loan, and you want to pay off the loan early, perhaps because you’re selling the property, you’ll usually have to pay a prepayment penalty. Prepayment penalties are designed to compensate the lender, or, in the case of CMBS loans, the investors, for the loss of income that will result from a borrower paying off their loan early.