Market Headwinds Persist with Rate Volatility Pushing Borrowers Towards Lenders that Lock Rate at Application; Gantry’s $18 Billion Loan Servicing Portfolio Still Performing at 100% Post COVID
San Francisco, Calif. – Gantry, the largest independent commercial mortgage banking firm in the U.S., is reporting $4.0 billion of commercial mortgage production through the close of Q3 2022, showing more than 10% year-over-year growth in total production value from the same period. Additionally, the firm continues to see 100% performance post-COVID for its $18 billion national portfolio of serviced loans encompassing all commercial asset classes, reflecting the strength of the firm’s underwriting with its correspondent and affiliated lenders.
“Despite strong economic headwinds this year and a more volatile rate climate, Gantry has continued to navigate our borrower clients to financing solutions conducive to their investment goals,” said Gantry Principal George Mitsanas. “In times of market shifts like we are seeing today, Gantry relies on the experience and motivation of our production teams to place borrowers with optimized debt solutions tailored to their specific needs. This commitment has resulted in 100% performance for our servicing portfolio post-COVID, attributable to copious underwriting and our strong relationships with a deep roster of correspondent and affiliated lenders.”
In terms of capital allocations, Gantry’s 2022 originations through the third quarter were defined by the following (ranked in descending order):
- Asset Class: Multifamily, retail, industrial, office, self-storage, mixed use, healthcare.
- Loan Volumes: Banks, life companies, credit unions, bridge lenders, and agencies as top funding sources.
- Loan Values: Life companies, banks, bridge lenders, credit unions, and agencies for total loan values.
Notable trends in relevant Gantry verticals include:
Gantry produced $4.0 billion of commercial mortgages in the first three quarters of 2022, a more than 10% increase in total production value over the same period in 2021, and originated loans totaling $1.2 billion in Q3 2022. Life companies remain a preferred provider for long-term, fixed-rate debt, with regional and community banks and credit unions competing for permanent loans in the five- to seven-year range. The ability of life companies, and in some instances agencies, to lock rate at time of application remains a competitive advantage in what has become a volatile rate climate. Bridge lenders continue to be a resource for properties in transition. Banks and life companies remain active in new construction financing.
“Life company lenders and their willingness to lock rate at time of application continues to attract qualifying borrowers in a volatile rate climate,” said Gantry Principal Blake Hering. “While some borrowers may anticipate a future reduction in rates over the next 3-5 years, we are still seeing a preference for longer term fixed rates, especially when a flexible prepayment structure can be offered. Even though the market paused over the summer to reset for macroeconomic realities, deals are still getting done as we move into the homestretch of 2022. We anticipate an active fourth quarter with many lenders already beginning discussions on pending maturities and 2023.”
Key trends to consider from Gantry’s Q3 2022 production report include:
- Life companies, and in some cases agencies, and their ability to lock rate at time of application remains a competitive advantage in the current volatile rate environment.
- Regional and local banks along with credit unions have become more active as major banks have reduced their commercial mortgage lending programs.
- Construction financing options at attractive rates remains available for new development.
- Underwriting is tightening up, with lenders focusing on lower leverage points.
- Retail, mainly grocery anchored and net lease properties, is seeing loan options across the spectrum of lenders for permanent and bridge lending at attractive rates.
- Office has become a palatable asset class again for some lenders, although borrowers should expect tighter underwriting criteria reflecting post-COVID workstyle uncertainties.
- Agency lenders continue to prioritize affordable housing and tighten leverage allowances.
Talent retention, attraction, and development is the focus of Gantry’s return-to-office program. The firm’s hybrid approach empowers regional production offices to develop in-office schedules that meet the needs of its production and professional staff, emphasizing work-life balance and flexible remote scheduling to best serve the unique requirements of each team member. The program emphasizes mentorship, collaboration, and environment to maximize the value of in-office interaction, key to developing talent within the firm, and productivity and life balance for remote work allowances that support quality of life and foster an independent culture. A renewed commitment to in-person professional conference attendance has also reconnected Gantry production teams with their peer and client sets.
Gantry, a long-rated Primary Servicer by Standard & Poor’s, continues to see 100% performance post-COVID from its $18 billion portfolio of serviced commercial mortgages spanning more than 2,100 loans in 43 states. These loans represent financings in every asset class, including hospitality and office, which remain the most challenged sectors post-COVID. The decision to proactively engage early in the pandemic helped to mitigate impacts from problem loans and the firm’s focus on copious and realistic underwriting has proven instrumental in navigating the distressed market dynamics of recent years.
Gantry, a privately held company headquartered in San Francisco, is a full-service mortgage banking firm with an extensive lineup of correspondent lenders utilizing Gantry’s production, closing, and servicing capabilities. Established in 1991, Gantry is currently staffed by nearly 100 professionals in regional offices throughout the western United States and in New York with over 45 production teams that originated over $5.1 Billion in 2021, with 2022 production already surpassing $4.0 Billion YTD. The company’s national servicing platform of over $18 billion represents more than 2,100 loans located in 43 states. Gantry is rated as a Primary Servicer by Standard & Poor’s and is one of a select few non-banking/non-insurance-chartered companies with this designation. For more information, please visit gantryinc.com.