Money may not make the world go ’round, but it certainly helps when you’re trying to get something done in real estate.
That’s why money was the theme when Charles Foschini and DJ Van Keuren paid a visit to Fried On Business recently.
Real Estate Capital Markets
Charles, you may not know, moved to Miami 1983 to study marine biology. He decided that would be a better hobby than a career. He got into commercial real estate in 1985 and started focusing on the capital markets three years later.
Now he’s the Senior Managing Director-Florida and Co-Leader of Berkadia in Miami/Fort Lauderdale.
Berkadia was formed in 2009 as a joint venture of Berkshire Hathaway and Leucadia National Corporation. It offers an integrated mortgage banking, investment sales and servicing platform.
We all know that interest rates are rising, and that can be detrimental to real estate. But Charles said that’s not the big picture, given the general health of the larger economy.
The multifamily housing market, for example, is healthy in most areas of the country, he said. And in Florida, new units are being absorbed readily.
Population growth and job growth here have kept rental rates high, and that has kept banks, life companies, CMBS and Wall Street lenders, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae maintaining very active lending practices in the sector, he said.
The volume of multifamily transactions has slowed since projects have already traded hands once or twice in this economic cycle, Charles added, which has put additional pressure on lenders to make deals.
Given the above, I tend to think that condo market dynamics point to a soft landing at the end of this cycle.
Charles agrees. He said very little condo lending went through intermediaries during this cycle because investors gobbled up units, with up to 80% deposits, without blinking. There hasn’t been much left to finance.
However, it may be a bit to early to ring the bell on new development, Charles said. It’s tough to determine just how much shadow inventory could come back to market, and many potential buyers do not have good credit, he said.
But there is room for some conversion activity for first-time condo buyers, he added, given the high prices of existing single-family homes.
How much time remains in this relatively stable market cycle? I personally think President Trump bought us about another 18 months, but I wanted Charles’ opinion.
He said the rollback of lending regulations that were enacted during the previous administration may motivate banks to get back into construction lending, although it may take a couple of years to build momentum.
The economy, Charles said, is doing great. The rising stock market reflects the health of Corporate America, and Corporate America needs space.
As for the near future of the real estate capital markets, Charles said there will be an important role for technology that provides detailed analysis of property performance, but in the end real estate finance is still a people business. Things work on relationships.
There was a lot more good stuff here, including an interesting look at Charles’ time as an adjunct professor at the University of Miami.
Click here to listen to the entire conversation.
Family Office Real Estate
Next up was DJ Van Keuren, a family office expert. He’s the Vice President for Hayman Family Office, the Single-Family Office of the Hayman Family, which was the founder of Giorgio Perfume.
DJ previously he worked as the Director of Family Office Capital for the Arsenal Family Office (SFO), working on their real estate portfolio and investments. Before that he was the Managing Director for the Jain Family Office (SFO), a real estate family out of Mumbai India.
He recently founded the Family Office Real Estate Institute and The Family Office Real Estate Magazine.
“About two years ago, I realized that a lot of families are extremely intelligent. They’re wealthy, and very knowledgeable, usually in the one specific area where they’ve been for the past 40 years,” he said.
“Once they sell that business, now they’re looking to invest the money. They may not understand the intricacies of private equity, hedge funds, or real estate, for that matter. I started to provide some educational information through the institute.”
That, DJ said, morphed into podcasts, then videos, and now a magazine – and the response has been far beyond what he imagined.
Now, real estate is almost always a part of the investment structure for a family office. Generally speaking, the allocation to real estate has dropped from 15% to about 10% in the last year, DJ said, due to growing concern about a downturn in the economy.
He said what real estate remains is focused on yield – cash flowing properties, notes in first position, or investing in funds that do so.
Multifamily is still the No. 1 investment target, he said.
Foschini added that, when family offices need financing for a project, they tend to opt for either extremely short term loans or – at the other end of the spectrum – full-term loans. The difference in rates between the two, he said, is almost negligible.
A family office, DJ said, often has the luxury of playing the long game. It offers “patient capital,” he said.
This was a fantastic interview. Click here to listen to the whole thing, and don’t forget to check out the first edition of The Family Office Real Estate Magazine – especially the article about where we are in the current market cycle.