Morning Briefing: MetLife hits record for commercial mortgages

by Steve Randall10 Feb 2017

MetLife hits record for commercial mortgages

MetLife Financial has reported a record high for commercial real estate loans in 2016, hitting $15 billion globally.

The five per cent increase over 2015’s total included several loans of $150 million or more, most notably a $563 million first mortgage on a portfolio of Class A industrial properties in California.

“MetLife strengthened its position as the leader in commercial mortgage lending, based on annual production volume, both domestically and internationally,” said Robert Merck, senior managing director and global head of real estate investments for MetLife.

The firm also continued to grow its platform for institutional investors - MetLife Investment Management - and Merck said that the expectation is for 2017 to bring even greater expansion and growth for that platform.


More unmarried couples buying homes together

A decade-long trend has been set by young couples prioritizing homebuying over marriage as home prices continue to rise.

Zillow analysis shows that almost 15 per cent of homebuyers across the US are unmarried couples aged 24-35; in 2005 the figure was 11 per cent. The trend is strongest in Washington DC where the group makes up 16 per cent of homebuyers.

"Buying a home is a big part of The American Dream – equally shared by millennials and Baby Boomers alike – but it's becoming extremely difficult to make it work on a single income," said Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Svenja Gudell. "Many singles looking to purchase a home on their own may not make enough money to afford or qualify for a mortgage on their dream home.

The data shows that fewer singles are buying homes, with the proportion of 24-35 year old’s going solo on their home purchase falling to 25 per cent from 28 per cent a decade ago.


Little change for mortgage rates this week says Freddie

The average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 4.17 per cent this week, down slightly from a week ago when it was 4.19 per cent.

Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Survey found that the average for a 15-year FRM was 3.39 per cent, down from 3.41 per cent; and the average for a 5-year ARM was 3.21 per cent, down from 3.23 per cent.

Rates are at about the same level at which they started the year and have stayed within a two basis point range over the past three weeks,” said Sean Becketti, Freddie’s chief economist. “Mixed economic releases such as Friday's jobs report and uncertainty about the Administration's fiscal policies have contributed to the holding pattern in rates."

The rates remain well above those of a year ago: 30-year FRM 3.65 per cent; 15-year FRM 2.95 per cent; and 5-year ARM 2.83 per cent.


Should CFPB have more supervision over credit agencies?