In spite of the banking industry’s central role in causing the 2008 meltdown, and its enduring role in prolonging the resulting credit crunch for so much of commercial real estate, new indicators show a market growing once again. It’s important to understand what the cause and effect relationship is here. It’s our role — as brokers, agents, investors and reps — to work to create the economic activity and financing demand that brings our bashful pinstriped friends out of their shells. It falls to us to reintroduce them to their role: capital allocation. And we’ve been doing better.
So which of the banks have been setting aside excuses, getting back to basics and allocating capital to our industry by financing its deals? David Bodamer at National Real Estate Investor wrote a piece summarizing the NREI’s 21st Annual Top Lenders Survey that lines up the big guys and gals moving the billions and ranks them by commercial property portfolio. That sound of horse hooves you hear is because, according to Bodamer, Wells Fargo tops the list:
Wells Fargo again tops the direct lender list by a wide margin. The firm financed $43.66 billion in commercial real estate loans in 2011—a nearly $7 billion increase over the $36.90 billion in activity it reported in 2010. PNC Real Estate jumped to the number two spot in our list with $11.01 billion in loans, barely edging MetLife’s $11.00 billion figure. The output was up from $4.40 billion for PNC and $8.40 billion for MetLife in 2010.
On the financial intermediary side, HFF more than doubled its volume from $11.90 billion in 2010 to $22.97 billion in 2011. Meridian Capital Group claimed the number two slot by arranging $17.25 billion, edging a trio of firms—Wells Fargo, Eastdil Secured and CBRE Group—that all arranged more than $16 billion in financing in 2011. In contrast, in 2010 only two firms—HFF and CBRE—topped $10 billion on the financial intermediary side.
You can check out NREI’s Top 25 Direct Lenders and Top 25 Financial Intermediaries here for a convenient summary of which banks are most following your lead in reconstituting the national commercial real estate industry.