In the last three years, commercial property lending has continued to gain momentum and it is fundamentally strong, while still maintaining disciplined underwriting standards. The fundamentals of the real estate markets also are improving via the growth in the housing markets, construction, industrial production, and the further strengthening of the consumer psyche. The convergence of these factors leads us to an optimistic 2014 forecast for the real estate lending markets. Banks now trust the improved value of real estate again, which results in increased lending competition that should keep spreads tight and fuel strong performance up the risk curve to broader geographies and asset types this year.
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