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3,000 industry professionals get ready to attend the Mortgage Bankers Association Commercial Real Estate Finance/Multifamily Housing Convention & Expo in Orlando this month.

What a month for Orlando, Florida. Nearly 3,000 industry professionals are expected to attend the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) Commercial Real Estate Finance/Multifamily Housing Convention & Expo (CREF) now through February 3.

Growth insights and lending

Thomas T. Kim, senior vice president of commercial/multifamily, Mortgage Bankers Association, was recently interviewed by the Scottsman Guide and discussed some growth insights and lending activity happening within the sector.

According to Kim, the MBA commented that it expects commercial and multifamily mortgage originations will increase year-over-year in 2016 by 6 percent, to $485 billion. “Overall, the commercial and multifamily real estate markets are robust,” Kim said. “Each capital source is subject to different regulatory limitations and restrictions, but commercial real estate debt seems to continue to be favored among investors.”

How the fed may impact the economy

Scotsman asked Kim what the “chances” that the strength of the economy will “overcome any sluggishness that would be brought on by higher interest rates or tighter fed policies” in the interview. Kim sees headwinds moving forward, however there were also “strong fundamentals” underlying in commercial real estate.

“On the debt side, there continues to be strong liquidity and competition among capital sources, but there [also] continues to be strong capital flows into the equity side of the commercial real estate market, so the relationship is very intertwined between broader economic impacts and trends,” Kim noted. “From a longer-term perspective, it will be important to monitor the Fed’s plans for their balance-sheet investments in Treasuries and MBS [mortgage-backed securities], and how those decisions affect longer-term rates.”

China and Europe’s possible slowdown

In the interview, Kim also shared his views on how much those in the industry should be concerned regarding international economic factors which may affect the economy, in reference to the slowdown in Europe or China. “We live in a very global, interconnected world, so all sectors of the economy, not just real estate, could be strongly affected by what happens in the global markets,” Kim said. “We’ve been seeing volatility in the capital markets certainly.”

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