When it comes to commercial real estate lending, there are typically two major kinds of loans, CMBS loans, also known as conduit loans, and portfolio loans. Conduit loans and portfolio loans have several key differences— and borrowers should be aware of them before deciding which type of commercial real estate financing best fits their individual needs.
While in an earlier article, we looked at the top CMBS lenders of 2017, we’ll now take a look at some more recent data. As of the first quarter of 2018, the top conduit lenders included JP Morgan Chase Bank, Deutsche Bank, and Goldman Sachs, each which issued more than $3 billion of conduit loans during this time.
While many conduit loans require that borrowers engage in defeasance if they want to prepay their loan, some lenders permit borrowers to prepay using yield maintenance. Yield maintenance involves a borrower paying off the balance of their CMBS loan, plus an additional 1-3% fee in order to compensate the lender for the income they’ve lost as a result of loan prepayment.
If you own one or more office properties, and you want to get CMBS financing in the near future, should you rent space to co-working companies like WeWork? The answer is complex; while co-working has been growing at a breakneck pace, with approximately 23% industry growth for the last several years, it still presents certain risks that landlords should consider.
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.
Borrowers often consider conduit loans’ strict prepayment penalties to be one of their major downsides. Many CMBS loans must be prepaid in a process called defeasance, which involves a borrower purchasing alternative securities, often U.S. Treasury bonds, to replace the collateral and interest income that the lender will lose as a result of prepayment. Defeasance can be a complicated process, the details of which will typically be spelled out in a borrower’s loan agreement.