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EDWARD HUSSEY JOINS SABAL CAPITAL PARTNERS AS HEAD OF AGENCY LENDING

Irvine, Calif. – Dec. 7, 2020Sabal Capital Partners, LLC, a diversified financial services firm specializing in commercial real estate, lending and investing, today announced it has hired Edward Hussey as head of agency lending. Based in Virginia, Hussey will be responsible for managing production across all of Sabal’s Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and other agency products and overseeing the recruiting, training and management of the lender’s nationwide production team. Hussey brings more than 30 years of experience in mortgage lending across credit, underwriting and production, including eight years as vice president at Freddie Mac, to his new role at Sabal.

“Given Ed Hussey’s deep credit and production expertise, including extensive experience working closely with Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, I’m confident that he will add immense value to Sabal from day one,” says Pat Jackson, founder and CEO of Sabal. “He understands the nuances of our agency lending programs and has the skill to build out our production team while furthering its reputation as the leading resource for those seeking to acquire, refinance and rehabilitate commercial properties.”

Sabal is a nationwide leader in agency finance solutions, with programs including Fannie Mae® Small Loans, Freddie Mac Optigo® Small Balance Loans and Sabal’s newest offering, Freddie Mac Optigo® Conventional Loans.

Before joining Sabal, Hussey served as senior vice president, head of multifamily production for agency lending at SunTrust Bank, now Truist Bank, where he managed a nationwide loan production platform and served as the primary liaison to both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. He also played an instrumental role in preparing Pillar Financial for acquisition by SunTrust Bank. Prior to that, he held several vice president roles at Freddie Mac overseeing multifamily credit risk for the enterprise risk management division, credit policy and asset valuation for the credit management division and terms of business management for the multifamily division. Hussey also previously held roles as chief underwriter and senior vice president of Wells Fargo Multifamily Capital and chief underwriter and vice president of Standard Mortgage Corporation.

“Sabal is a powerhouse in the agency lending space, and I am honored to be joining this nationally respected team,” says Hussey. “I look forward to leveraging my expertise to further expand Sabal’s presence in the market while delivering excellent service for brokers and borrowers.”

Hussey earned an MBA from George Washington University and a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Louisiana State University. He is a Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) and earned his sustainable management certificate from Duke University.

Edward Hussey joined Sabal in his new role on December 1.

For more information on Sabal’s complete multifamily and commercial real estate lending offerings, visit www.sabal.com for details and eligibility.

About Sabal Capital Partners, LLC

Headquartered in Irvine, California, Sabal Capital Partners, LLC and its commercial real estate lending and servicing subsidiaries and affiliates have originated over $4 billion nationally through their highly specialized wholesale lending platform. Sabal strives to keep clients and investors ahead of the curve, representing a corporate philosophy based upon the core practices of innovation, partnership, commitment to excellence and entrepreneurship. Sabal’s dedication to advancing the financial services industry has led to the development of SNAP™, an innovative platform designed to optimize the lending and investment processes and enable a highly efficient interaction between Sabal and its client and investor base. Sabal is a nationally rated Commercial Primary Servicer and Commercial Special Servicer by Morningstar with a CS2 ranking, an S&P Global rated Commercial Mortgage Loan Special Servicer with an average ranking, as well as a Fitch rated CMBS Primary Servicer with a CPS2- ranking and CMBS Special Servicer with a CSS3+ ranking. For more information about Sabal, visit www.sabal.com.

One Property, Two Strategic Finance Solutions

By Pat Jackson, President and CEO, Sabal Capital Partners

In April 2018, Sabal’s clients were acquiring a 96-unit apartment community in West Memphis, AK and encountered some financing hurdles. Though 97% occupied, the property was experiencing volatile collections and poor tenant credit underwriting. As a result, the asset did not qualify for financing under Freddie Mac’s Small Balance Loan Program.

Through some strategic maneuvering, Sabal was able to quickly deliver an interim and efficient solution. “We provided a flexible short-term, $2 million loan for the acquisition of the property,” said Richard Rennell, national production manager at Sabal. “This Bridge AFR loan was an ideal solution to our borrower’s problem, providing a 15-month term with two three-month extensions, which is our standard program.”

The borrower’s business plan called for the improvement and stabilization of property operations. He accomplished this by completing upgrades and hiring an experienced property management firm, which was able to replace the nonpaying tenants. Through the borrowers’ efforts, they were able to turn the property completely around in 12 months. Sabal was able to step in once again, refinancing the asset in April 2019 with a 10-year fixed rate loan of $2.95 million utilizing the Freddie Mac Small Balance Loan Program.

“The broker and I were in constant contact for the entire duration that improvements were made to the asset, which allowed us to step in immediately with a permanent loan when the time was right,” added Rennell. “This particular property is just one example of the diverse small balance programs we offer and how they can be combined for use on one asset.”

For more information on our AFR Bridge Program or any of Sabal’s additional Small Balance Loan Programs, please contact Sabal’s Multifamily Lending Experts at lending@sabal.com.

Four Ways Freddie Mac’s Targeted Affordable Housing Express Debt Product Benefits Borrowers

By Pat Jackson, President and CEO, Sabal Capital Partners, LLC

Nearly every market in the U.S. is currently faced with a lack of affordable housing. Increased cost of living, lack of supply, zoning restrictions, growing cost of construction and many other factors all contribute to the estimated 7.2-million-unit shortage nationwide. As the public and private sectors explore how to work together in hopes of filling this gap, debt programs focused on the financing of existing affordable housing are in steep demand.

Freddie Mac’s Targeted Affordable Housing Express (TAHX) program is one program that provides a simple and efficient solution for affordable properties nationwide. For borrowers seeking a small balance loan up to $10 million, here are just a few of the many benefits Freddie Mac’s TAHX product offer:

1.) Streamlined Process: Freddie Mac’s TAHX program provides easier pre-screening, streamlined loan documents and an abbreviated list of required project paperwork, simplifying the underwriting process.

2.) Lower Fees: Freddie Mac’s TAHX fees are significantly below industry norms. For a standard deal structure, fees are typically less than $25,000.

3.) Broad Definition of Affordable: The definition of affordable housing under the TAHX program is rather flexible. Where affordable housing often more narrowly describes a category where occupants pay no more than one third of their income for housing, the definition of affordable housing under the TAHX program is much more flexible. Properties under this typical definition of affordable as well as workforce (often defined as housing for those earning 60 to 120% of the area’s annual median income) and below-market multifamily can qualify.

Specifically, uncapped multifamily stabilized properties with one or more of the following characteristics are eligible:Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) properties in at least year 11 of their compliance period

– Long-term Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) contracts

-Regulatory agreements that impose rent/income restrictions

-Section 8 vouchers

-Tax abatements

4.) Payment Flexibility: The TAHX program offers a variety of pre-payment options for borrowers, including a declining schedule and yield maintenance for all loan types. It also offers a cash-out option, which is nearly unheard of in current bank products.

As the conversation surrounding the shortage of affordable housing units continues, programs like Freddie Mac’s TAHX will give borrowers easier access to much-needed capital for affordable properties nationwide.

What Borrowers Should Know about Investing in Affordable/Workforce Housing

By Pat Jackson, President and CEO, Sabal Capital Partners

With an estimated 7.4 million-unit shortage of affordable housing nationwide, the need for more apartments in this category is stronger than ever. As we learned from the latest National Low Income Housing Coalition “Out of Reach” report, 71% of extremely low income renters are severely housing burdened, and only 37 affordable homes exist for every 100 extremely low-income households. In looking to address this issue and meet housing needs nationwide, ground-up construction isn’t the only option. As unmet demand for affordable housing continues to expand, the acquisition of existing multifamily properties presents a compelling opportunity for borrowers to help fill the housing gap while capitalizing on a promising investment opportunity.

Supply

Before exploring an acquisition, it’s important to understand the incomes of current tenants. The existing asset needs to have rents below market rate to allow for a manageable purchase.

Though there isn’t a widely agreed upon definition, workforce is often defined as 60-120% Area Median Income (AMI). However, in large markets such as San Francisco and New York City, AMI is closer to 140%. Affordable, on the other hand, often refers to units where tenants pay no more than 30% of their income on rent.

Acquisitions typically require at least some repositioning, so the right equity and debt structure is critical, as is the right improvement plan, since tenants will already be in place.

Property Selection

Finding the right property is the biggest challenge for borrowers. Many viable assets are off market, and the price must be discounted due to the lower rents paid by affordable and workforce tenants. Additionally, specific metrics must be met beyond rent and income for a deal to pencil.

  1. Key market fundamentals to look for include: A gentrifying area with increasing rents
  2. Location in a moderately populated area (urban or suburban)
  3. Presence of a nearby employment center
  4. Acceptance of Section 8 vouchers (a standard requirement for affordable properties)

Financing

Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) are one option for financing affordable properties. However, it’s important to keep in mind that these projects typically take 4-6 years to develop, have an extensive underwriting process and use a narrow definition of “affordable.”

Freddie Mac’s Targeted Affordable Housing (TAHX) Program is an alternative, ideal option for borrowers and brokers looking to finance an acquisition. The most significant benefit of the TAHX program compared to others is its more expansive definition of affordable housing. Going beyond the “affordable” definition of tenants that pay no more than one third of their income for housing, workforce and below-market multifamily can also qualify. Additional benefits include closing timelines of less than 45 days (compared to market averages of 90 days) and fees well below industry norms (at or below $25,000).

The TAHX product itself does not allow for renovation beyond simple improvements, but Sabal has filled that gap with our bridge AFR product. Our AFR program allows an owner/investor in both the affordable and workforce space the opportunity to pay off the unpaid principal balance and improve the property over a 12-month period while we work with Freddie Mac and the borrower to ensure a smooth transition to the TAHX program. 

Three Trends to Watch in CRE Financing

By Pat Jackson, President and CEO, Sabal Capital Partners

Sabal’s position as a nationwide commercial real estate lender allows us the benefit of seeing a wide range of deals and markets, ultimately giving us a macro-level view of trends occurring across the country. As we move deeper into the second half of 2019, below are three trends the Sabal team expects to continue impacting the commercial real estate industry over the coming months.

1)     Heightened Multifamily Lending in Secondary and Tertiary Markets

More and more, we are seeing multifamily activity growing in secondary and tertiary markets. There is a shortage of workforce housing across the country, and we’re seeing that people living in markets like Charleston struggle just as much as those trying to find an affordable place to live in larger cities like Chicago. Financing existing product in these markets is key to keeping workforce housing available – and the current marketplace dynamics in these regions, including lower competition, higher cap rates and the opportunity for strong year-over-year rent growth, create an excellent investment opportunity for multifamily owners and buyers. Obviously, all deals should be evaluated for risk, as with any real estate transaction.

2)     Greater Acceptance of Agency Product in the Small Balance Marketplace

Agency products like Freddie Mac’s Optigo Small Balance Loans Program and Fannie Mae’s Small Loan program are becoming increasingly accepted and popular options for financing multifamily assets. For example, in 2018 Freddie Mac’s Small Balance Loan program financed 2,771 small balance loans, a year-over-year increase of a little more than 3%. With $7.4 billion in funding, this represented 10% of Freddie Mac’s Multifamily volume. In 2017, Fannie Mae reported $2.3 billion in funding in its Small Loans program, a 21% increase from the year prior. While Fannie’s numbers remained relatively flat in 2018, the continuance of the program’s strong performance year-over-year is indicative of the marketplace’s need for this type of financing.

At Sabal, we’ve seen broker awareness and desire for these programs’ financing increase significantly, as well. Annually, our Freddie Mac pipeline continues to grow significantly, and we’ve seen a strong start to our Fannie Mae program, which was approved in early 2019.

3)     Increasing Diversity in the CRE Workforce

Over the course of the past decade, there has been a marked increase in the number of women in the CRE workforce. According to CREW Network’s “2015 Benchmark Study Report: Women in Commercial Real Estate,” 9% of c-suite positions in CRE are held by women. Additionally, asset management and development have seen increases in the number of women working in each field. This change is welcomed and much needed to keep the talent pipeline fresh.

Despite this progress, there is still much room for change in the workforce. A study released by CREW Network found the percentage of women in brokerage and finance declined between 2006 and 2015, from 39% to 29% and from 44% to 42%, respectively.

While there has been significant focus on diversity in the commercial real estate space, it’s imperative that the industry continue to welcome and grow in diversity. Commercial real estate assets – whether apartments, retail, office, industrial or other – are utilized by a wide range of people. It’s key that the industry designing, developing, funding and investing in these assets reflect that same level of diversity.

Heightened multifamily activity in secondary and tertiary markets, greater acceptance of agency product in the small balance marketplace and a push for increased diversity in the industry are all trends that we will continue to watch this year and beyond.