Good morning, everyone. Great to see such a healthy turnout My name is Dianne Crocker I’m the principal analyst in EDR Insight where we closely track trends in the commercial real estate and environmental due diligence marketsSo what I’m presenting here is drawn from our recent research. And before I start, let me say that you will all be getting copies of my slides via email so just sit back and listen to the story.I’m here to give you my take on where we are in terms of market recovery. As you’re about to see, the market is in MANY ways much better now than it was at this time last year. Not great…but better.
This shows you where the market is in terms of its recovery.Things kind of bounced along after the market crash. Firms cut to the bone.Gradual improvements but 2013 was really the first year of true market rehab.Optimism has finally taken root. Business confidence, profitability and investors’ forecasts are more positive than they have been in recent years. Despite the uncertain economic outlook, theprospects for property assessment firms are more encouraging than at any time since 2008. 2014 will be a year of refocusing and repositioning in a still-challenging market. So let’s take a look at some of the trends shaping our market today—and I’ll give you names of any key players wherever I could
Let’s start with Commercial Real Estate…and the status of lending on commercial properties, in particular. The U.S. commercial real estate recovery, although slow, is visibly improved in terms of:Transaction volume,Fundamentals like vacancy rates, Rent growth and asset pricing, And capital availability.
Here’s the view right now from 50,000 feet. READ STATS. I don’t have to tell anyone here it’s been a slow unpredictable erratic recovery so far. It’s been a loong time since the numbers looked this good across the board. These are growth rates in lenders and dealmaking year on year. They are all in the double digits.For the first time in years, all of the debt spigots are open. The major sources of lending have stepped up their activity. It's not a rush of capital, but definitely a big change from a couple of years ago. There’s also more diversity in terms of who’s lending and who’s capitalizing deals.There’s growing investor confidence, property pricing is improving. This has invigorated dispositions by banks which not only drives due diligence but also puts bank balance sheets in a better position.So in general, the barometers are collectively looking pretty favorable, but a guy in retail I know in retail in San Diego said “it’s enough to start feeling optimistic but not sustainable enough that developers are lighting cigars with $100 bills.”Let’s look a little deeper into the numbers.
Let’s start with CRE deals. Property transactions make our world go round.The market is baby stepping. As any good economist will tell you, you have to look at a trend line to get the real picture. You see here that going back five years, deal volume has been coming back slowly since 2009.It’s been doing that for several years. A strong quarter a weak one. Fears that sent everyone to the sidelines then a gradual return. An election that gave an already nervous market an excuse to take a breather. Then back on trackAfter a few years of stumbling, the market today appears to be on more stable footing…This graph shows quarterly data on deal volume back to the start of 2007. Full year 2013 easily surpassed the 2012 total of $300 billion. With buyer activity mounting, it goes to show that the money was there all along---just caution keeping it locked up…and now the vaults appear to be opening slowly.
What we’re also seeing now that I very much like is more smaller transactions…
By property type, Most of the work you’re doing is still on multifamily the favored asset class but retail and office/industrial are getting more interest tooMULTIFAMILY: The apartment market continues to be the ‘belle of the ball,’ with multifamily mortgage originations running 31 percent ahead of last year’s first-half total.On RETAIL “A couple of years ago, it was the institutional quality strip centers that were changing hands and seeing the value increases,” he added. “Now the market is starting to spread out to all [retail] properties.office/industrial are getting more interest too
Let’s switch to the lending world, starting with commercial mortgage backed securities.This is a sector that once drive about 25,000 Phase Is a year and bottomed out in 2009. CMBS has been VERY slow to recover. Healthy stream of deals closed out the year and as you see here, a strong 2013.That’s good news for the market because it finally opens up lending a bit more and it’s good news for the EPs that serve this sector in terms of more demand for Phase Is.Trepp believes CMBS will return to sustainable levels in another 3 years—by 2016—and that doesn’t mean reaching the levels of the market highpoint in 2007…it means getting back to the levels we had in the 2004-05 timeframe. So this market is highly likely to recover, but not for another 3-4 years. Over the near term, CMBS is expected to see a good year so that’s good news for EPs operating in this sector
Let’s switch now to the broader lending market.This shows the trend of banks now carrying a lighter load of non-performing property loans on their books.There have been more dispositions of poor loans by banks in the past two years than at any time since 2008. Banks were criticized for not doing this quickly enough …kicking can down the road….but they waited until property prices rebounded and in retrospect, that looks like a pretty good strategy.U.S. commercial-property values have increased 42% since hitting their post-crash trough in 2009As a result, the larger banks are in a much better financial situation. It’s the community banks in particular continue to struggle, and banks with less than $1 billion in assets have cut their OREO and delinquent loans by only 40% so they still have a ways to go.
The ingredients lenders needed to come back to CRE lending are now present:Better balance sheetsBetter property priceBetter credit quality More demand Generally speaking, banks have seen across-the-board increases in total CRE loan origination volume.
The good news is that for most major banks, the recession is receding further and further away in the rearview mirror. Lenders are getting more active in secondary and tertiary markets where there are well-qualified borrowers who have been unable to access the borrowing markets.Chandan said survey data that his firm has collected with the Real Estate Lenders Association show that the number of respondents who plan to increase their loan commitments in the next 12 months far outnumber those who plan to lower them. There are more loans being made, but there are more lenders out there, so they’ve got to be fairly competitive, and that leads to a lot of the pressures you’re facing from lenders to do things cheaply and quickly.
Remember: the market is good. Not greatLending is gaining steam slowly from a pretty low bottomStill well below the highs of 6 years ago but baby stepping its way back
The pace of the economic and real estate recovery remainsuneven across U.S. metropolitan-area markets. Survey respondents in 2013 expressed a desire to move into secondary markets in search of higheryields. The desire was clearly there in 2013, but 2014 may wellbe the year when we will see these plans come to fruition. Onefund manager notes, “The focus is now on top 25 markets, notthe top six. We like markets that have the potential for growth.” While this was the same sentiment as last year, what makes it more likely to occur in 2014 is that the pace of market fundamental improvement is now viewed as being sustainable, so the economics of the investments are now meetingmore investor risk/return metrics. The top five markets remain virtually unchanged with only some moderate reshuffling. San Francisco maintains the number-one position in the overall rankings. This tech-influencedmarket is also attractive to young workers, and with meaningfulsupply constraints in place, its location at the top is no surprise.The recovery has clearly had more momentum in marketswith favorable demographics, exposure to growing industrysectors, and those with an attractive cost of doing business. reflects the views of over 1,000 individuals who completed surveys or were interviewed as a part of the research process for thisreport. The views expressed herein, including all comments appearing in quotes, areobtained exclusively from these surveys and interviews and do not express the opinionsof either PwC or ULI. Interviewees and survey participants represent a wide rangeof industry experts, including investors, fund managers, developers, property companies,lenders, brokers, advisers, and consultants.
Building on the long-awaited recovery of the housing market, banks are starting to extend more construction and development loans Primarily multifamily and residential projects by some of the biggest builders in the country; and the capital is largely flowing from regional banks, not their larger counterparts
As you just saw, the market’s better in a lot of ways, but the road of recovery has been slow.The market’s still uncertain and uncertainty breeds aversion to risk.What does an uncertain market mean to your clients?They’re nervous
Banks’ feet are really being held to the fire right now to manage risk better, to engage in safe and sound lending practices.2 stats that really speak to to the importance of risk management is that READ
These are some quotes that came out of research we did into how lenders view the environmental risk management function today5. Bank policies are getting attention like never before. A smaller bank told me they’re gearing up for their first envl policy. EVER and this is “huge.”Interesting to watch this as the market recovers
Also on the topic of MORPHING, this is a summary of how some key metrics we track with our quarterly surveys of risk managers at financial institutions are changing.First is one foreclosures. The question asked for the %age of due diligence that is for foreclosures vs new orig’s or refis. That percentage for foreclosure-related due diligence has fallen from 17% almost 2 years ago to only 5% today. On the topic of liquidating loans, fell from 51% to 36% still high as small banks go through the processSelling REO a less pronounced decline from 77% to 63% (there is still a lot of asset unraveling happening, esp at the smaller scale of the banking sector so those opps will be aorund for awhile)Lastly the average percentage of Phase I ESAs going to Phase Iis is up—reflective of the risk-averse mindset. In late ’11, 6% of Phase Is were going to Phase Iis. Now it’s almost tripled to 16%.These are good signs for the market in the sense that drivers for property assessment services are shifting!...from foreclosures to originations/refis
Very consistent w/ the overall US marketAnd typically we see a year-end rush. Last yr was particularly pronounced Likely we’ll see a strong 4Q here to close out 2013 above last yr’s volume.
In the midst of a stumbling recovery, there is intense pressure in the market today…The expectations just keep going up.
Part of this is the sign of a mature market. Part—a big part—is the competitive pressures that clients are underway to make $$ in a tough market, keep costs down, improve efficiency.That’s the world we live in. Things are moving quickly. Clients want more, and to meet their needs, we have to continuously raise the bar.
Let’s talk for a minute about benchmarks for pricing and turnaround time.It’s the not-so-good newsPricing pressure is still the biggest pain point in the industry right now.1800-2400 is the range Think these are too high? Remember they include Phase I pricing over all clients types and a sample size of about 300 EPs. Focus solely on the lending sector, however, and the survey data shows that average pricing falls by about $500-600. There’s about a $500 differential between the two.It’s intense, no doubt about itTurnaround time pressures are equally intense—if not more so. READ SLIDE THENThis time pressure is giving some firms an opportunity to differentiate themselves and to be rewarded for efficiency with the ability to charge a premium for faster delivery.
The market’s not bad but it could be better. The last key to navigating in an uncertain market is adopting winning strategies.One of the great things about working in such a large, fragmented industry such as the one we all work in, is that any one of the thousands of companies in it can grow and prosper.I’m convinced that today there are more opportunities than ever. And I’ve watched what firms have done in the downturn…which ones have done better than others and there are some definite trends in the things they’re doing, the culture they foster.They’re not better at predicting the market, they’re better at preparing for it.The market’s not great. I’m not going to lie to you. You can’t control it. But you can control your reaction to it. The market is different and it’s still changing so companies need to decide what they’ll do differently to achieve their goals
The market is a mature one. There are so many different drivers for your servicesGrowth is happening but slowly…and it’s highly highly competitiveSo if you’re looking for what’s growing and where you should focus, consider some of the strongest prospects for your firm and work from there.
We talked already about developersFor the 7th straight quarter, developers are at the top of the list of client sectors with the highest scores for strong demand. Builders need inventory and are looking to close deals before construction costs climb any further. If you can get aligned with developers you might have some success
As I said before, CRE lending is shifting from headwind to tailwindBanks are aggressively coming backPrior to the Great Recession, SunTrust Bank was one of the primary providers of commercial real estate capital. Now the bank, one of the largest in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast, is gearing up its CRE lending again. We’ll hear from SunTrust’s environmental manager later in the program. They’re busy.Bank of America is anotherAnd GE Capital among the world’s biggest property investors before getting burned in the financial crisis,
There’s more scrutiny on risk management than ever before that’s GOOD but it’s coupled with a need to do more with less. That’s CHALLENGING!Technology is playing a HUGE role in helping EPs be more efficient and helping their clients be more efficient.On the lending side, there are more eyes on environmental. A sense that risk management is everyone’s business.so it needs to be reportable and accessible to more peopleI believe it will matter to your competitive profile if you don’t leverage technology It’s happening in every industry and it’s happening in commercial real estate: Family Dollar’s real estate management team uses a platform for site selection that allows better collaboration among internal teams, and reduced site evaluation times 67 percent.one-stop shop for everything they need as a company to make the best real estate decisions,
Clients want things fasterTechnology is giving an EPs a way to deliverIt’s as simple and as complicated as thatlenders. They want reports to be prepared in a cost-effective and timely manner, in accordance with the terms of their clients’ loan specifications. Time can have a huge impact on their deals. So if an environmental professional can spend less time and energy fiddling with various software programs or duplicating their efforts compiling notes and photos at the office, and use technology to their benefit, the report could be prepared before the deadline and everybody wins. If my clients look good to their borrowers, then their business increase
Gartner just released a forecast predicting that in just two short years, mobile application use in the workplace will double. Perhaps not surprisingly, the most popular had to do with travel, data documentation and eating. The apps that consultants get the most jazzed up about are the ones like camscanner that allow document scanning in the field. As one gushed, "this app is so good, it's like having a high-quality scanner in your pocket that can convert multiple pages of documentation quickly into a pdf."
one panelist aptly observed that it’s all about speed and efficiency in today’s deal-making environment: jSee slideThe point being that in the deal making world, clients are getting used to (and demanding) ways to access data quickly, interact with it, customize it, experience it, analyze it and act on it. The winners will be the ones who figure out a way to give clients a way to make decisions faster and better manage risk, those who break out of the old way of doing things and improve the process.
Education is a key strategy of winning firmsIn anticipation of increases in lending or refis/foreclosures, some banks and investors replaced environmental staff that were laid off during the downturn.In some cases, this now means that the indiv’s requesting EDD are new to the business. So there’s a learning curve and an education that needs to happen.I’ve been hearing from many EPs whose firms are using the downturn to provide education to clients.It’s a great way to gain clients’ trust, “dev lasting relationships”, become more of a trusted advisor to them.ASTM E 1527 Any update to SBA SOPI understand HUD changes are comingAll of these…or an interesting project…can be effective ways of staying in front of your clients On lending front, banks and Community banks, in particular, ask a lot fo questions about the value of EDD and ex’s of what can go wrong. It’s a great thing to focus on in building up trust, standing out from the crowd in a competitive marketLet me give you an example: A bank in Illinois foreclosed on a residential property adjacent to a former dry cleaner site. The bank had failed to perform a proper environmental site assessment (ESA) and therefore missed that the adjacent site was known to be a part of Illinois’ Voluntary Site Remediation Program. Post-foreclosure testing revealed that the plume of tetrachlorothylene (also known as perchloroethylene, or “perc”) and other contaminants from the dry cleaner’s 35 years of operations had migrated onto the property now owned by the bank. (Perc is known to be a potent carcinogen.) After much litigation, the dry cleaner was recently held responsible under CERCLA and RCRA for past response costs and for the declaratory judgment claim regarding future response costs, but it remains to be seen whether the decision will be upheld, and, if so, whether the bank will be able to collect.
For you EPs, that’s your opportunity to educate…before one of your competitiors gets there firstThere are some positive impacts associated with the release of a new Phase I standard.It’s been 7 years since we had the 2005 version on the heels of the AAI ruleIt will shed light on the need for attn to the process, the need for improvements and valuable reminders of area of EDD like user responsibilities that risk managers may not have given much thought to in the past eight years—or even longer. You potentially have a new CREC term, new attn on vapor and just a focus on the fundamentals again.Already getting CERCLA questions This will continue as the new standard moves closer to completion
if you play the market smart, you should see more opp’s in 2014 with the usual caveat of “barring any unexpected market upsets" Watch the market barometersBe strategic Leverage technologyEducate and do it better than the next guySo I am optimistic. The market is growing not shrinking. The opportunities for you are growing not shrinking but the challenges are intensifying too.strong drivers, strong competitive pressures and need for greater sophistication. Differentiators: Personalized service, expertise, trust, fast TATThere’s a new ASTM standard coming out so that creates a need for education and reminders about the role of environmental due diligence in liability protection. Technology is changing how we all communicate and receive/process/manage data and use it in our decision-making.It’s a very exciting time for our market. I believe opps are expanding and I hope that you can all see that.So much has improved in terms of market confidence even from where we were last fall leading up to the election. The dog days, I believe, are over. And with that, I will turn you over to the capable hands of Anthony Buonicore
So that’s how things look from where I’m sitting…and that gives you a sense of the type of research we’re doing.Everything we publish is readily available here.And my contact info is there if you ever have any questions about the market or areas of opportunityIf you have an appetite for the types of information here, jot your email address on your evaluation and you’ll get our biweeklies With that, we have a few minutes for questions…Here during the break and after, so feel free to approach me or email me anytime.
Strategic Plays for the 2nd Half of Market Recovery: Orange County
For presentation at:
Irvine Due Diligence at Dawn workshop
Strategic Plays for the 2nd Half of
Dianne P. Crocker, Principal Analyst
True start of
Market in Transition
2008 2010 201220112009 2013 2014
View of Market: 50,000 Feet
CRE lending +14%
-SBA Lending +13%
Property prices: +15%
-Small (<$5M) +17%
CMBS Issuance +46%
• All debt spigots are open.
• Growing investor confidence.
• More diversity in lenders,
• Activity across broader spectrum
• Improving property
•Deal flow up 19% in ’13
•Stronger-than-expected 4Q transactions
•January traditionally slower than December
•…but up 32% vs. Jan 2012
Large Commercial Real Estate
• The velocity of small-cap sales is more than
keeping pace with the larger deals.
• Up 17% in 2013
• Forecast for another double-digit year in 2014
Small Cap Transactions
• Multifamily was the “belle of the ball”
• up 31% Y-on-Y
• Industrial sector fast emerging as the new
• especially warehouse
• Office getting more interest in some metros
• Retail: sales of strip centers are up 30%
Property Types in Favor
• U.S. Retail Store Closings in 2013:
• Blockbuster (460)
• Fashion Bug
• Store Expansions in 2014:
• Walmart (just doubled its forecast)
• Dollar General
• Family Dollar
Properties in Flux
Good News on the CMBS Front
• Post-recession high of
• Easily surpassed year-end
• Forecast to reach $100
billion for 1st time in six
• 2013 was a “come-back year for lending”
• Lenders have returned to originating commercial real
estate loans as values and credit quality improve and
• 4Q13 originations were the highest since 2007
• Apartment lending back to 2007 volumes
• Growth forecast:
• 2014: 7%
• 2015: 6%
• 2016: 5%
Source: MBA CREF, February 2014
Come-Back Year for Property Lending
LENDING: A Positive Take
“More banks were lending on income-
producing commercial real estate
properties in more places by year-end
2013. The number of lenders who plan
to increase property loans in next 12
months far outnumber those who plan
to lower them.”
~ Sam Chandan, president and chief
economist at Chandan Economics
• A lot of optimism out of MBA CREF show last month
“All of a sudden, the banks are comfortable with real
estate, which scared the daylights out of them from
2007 to 2009, and they are looking for opportunities.”
• 91% of the top firms expect originations to increase in 2014
• Almost two-thirds (64 percent) expect their own firm’s originations
to increase by 5 percent or more.
• More aggressive lending, strong borrower appetite, intense
competition among lenders expected.
Source: 2014 MBA CREF Outlook Survey, conducted between December 11
and December 20, 2013.
Bottom Line on Lending
• Supported more than $29B in loans in FY13—its third-highest
• More than 54,000 loans backed through its 7(a) and 504
• 4.6% growth in 7(a) loans in FY 2013.
• 7(a) lending is picking up steam after being halted by the
government shutdown in 4Q.
SBA Lending: A Bright Spot
Ranked 10th in the
US for “Top Markets
to Watch: Overall
LA: Ranked 13th
• Investment prospects still considered strong.
• Development and homebuilding up significantly from
• A lot of multifamily under construction.
• Office sector: the Fashion Island area is active.
Points in Irvine-Orange County’s Favor
• 94%of institution’s boards now devote more time to risk
management oversight than five years ago
• 80%percent of chief risk officers report directly to either
the board or the CEO
Source: Deloitte lender study
Banks and Risk Management
• 55% of respondents agree:
• My clients are demanding more thorough environmental
due diligence on deals today than in past quarters.
• 51% agree:
• Lenders tightened their environmental due diligence
standards in 4Q13 and are more demanding in terms of
having thorough environmental due diligence conducted.
• 42% of EPs agree:
• My clients are more willing to discuss Phase II
sampling and other forms of additional investigation than
they have been in past quarters.
Source: EDR Insight’s 4Q13 Quarterly Survey of EPs
Attitudes Toward Environmental Risk
Benchmarks in Environmental
4Q11 4Q12 4Q13
% of EDD for
foreclosures 17% 11% 5%
loans (% of
51% 38% 32%
77% 69% 60%
6% 10% 16%
• Intense pressure on price and turnaround time continues.
• Latest results show that $1,800 - $2,400 is a typical basic
Phase I ESA pricing range
• Higher prices on the East and West coasts.
• Average turnaround:
• 2-3 weeks
• As short as 8-10 days on portfolio projects.
• Speed has become a differentiator…
Phase I ESA Pricing and
• “Due to demands for fast turnaround and specialized service,
we have felt justified in charging more for our services.
Even with increased rates, we are still being awarded the
work. Might raise our prices a bit more next quarter.”
• “Based on large volume of work coming in the door and the
demand for quick turnaround times, we have increased our
prices and are choosing the clients we want to work with.”
Turnaround Time and Phase I
“It’s a dog eat dog world.
I say we just wait it out.”
• Equity REITs
• Foreign investors (Asia, Europe)
• Institutional capital and equity funds
• Financial institutions, insurance, credit unions
• Retail/big box
Target Drivers of Phase I ESA Growth
• The universe of buyers is growing rapidly
• The number of active buyers over the past twelve months
grew by 3,300 participants with the private sector seeing
the greatest growth.
• Foreign investors forming U.S. alliances
= new opportunities for expanding client base
New Clients Emerging:
• Wells Fargo
• 1st for 5th consecutive year ($ volume)
• Approved 18% more 7(a) loans in ’13 over prior year
• 1st for 4th consecutive year (# of loans)
• Approved 4,104 7(a) loans in FY13
• Other institutions that dominate SBA lending include:
• Key Corp., Regions Financial, Huntington
Bancshares, M&T Bank, Citizens Financial
Group, Citigroup, Bank of America, TD Bank, US
Bank, PNC Bank and SunTrust Bank.
Top SBA Lenders
• “We've recently seen lenders aggressively come back to
this business who retreated during the crisis," said Philip
B. Flynn, CEO of Associated Banc-Corp.
• SunTrust Banks:
• “We’ve put our distress problems behind us and are back
to focus on growth."
• Growing its retail, office, multifamily and industrial CRE
• Also building out its REIT business
• GE Capital Real Estate is increasing lending by 40% this year
Which Lenders Are Growing
• Efficiency is KEY to data
• Need for constant
• Better collaboration
• Reduced cost/time
• More engagement with clients
• 29% of EPs believe that the
adoption of new technologies
is "extremely important, gives
us an edge“ (4Q13 Survey)
One EP’s Take on Technology
How has technology changed the way that you conduct Phase I
environmental site assessments?
“Now I can go on a site visit, take photos on my smartphone or
tablet, record my notes in real time, go to a coffee shop, upload
everything to my computer and write my report. I can do all of this in
between site visits, especially if I’m on the road or out of town. I used
to carry around too much clutter to a site visit. Each time I performed a
new function, I would have to put down one object to use
another, distracting me from my greater purpose. Going into the field
with just a smartphone or tablet is one of the most enlightening
experiences for me.”
Duncan Anderson, Odic
• NYC technology conference:
“More data. More transparency. If we can all get data into
people’s hands faster, it’s a win-win for everyone. And
these apps need to be rapidly deployed. They can’t take users
even one second longer to use.”
• Xceligent has a mobile app, eXplore™ iPad App, that gives
commercial real estate professionals real-time access to over
50 fields of data by using a set radius or by drawing a polygon
around a customized search area.
CRE and Tech Intersect
• Refocuses attention on education and awareness
• Some new requirements to consider
• Valuable reminders on certain areas of EDD (e.g., user
responsibilities) that risk managers may not have given much
thought to in the past eight years
Impact of a New ASTM Standard
• Vapor intrusion awareness
• New SBA SOP 50 10 5(f) as of Jan. 1st
• OCC Guidance, August 2013
• Real-world examples/reminders of why environmental
due diligence is critical
Other Opportunities to Educate
1. Watch the market barometers.
2. Be strategic in your business targets.
3. Leverage technology.
4. Get your name out there as a technical expert.
Playbook Strategy Summary
• Property markets:
• Improving slowly
• More $$s, more players, broader geographic reach
• Fear, uncertainty, regulator pressure breed aversion
• Your Challenges:
• Competition, efficiency, pricing, speed
• There’s now a viability to the recovery that we haven’t
seen thus far since the market downturn began.
Dianne P. Crocker
Principal Analyst, EDR Insight
Research and Analytics: