Capital Markets Fire Up

By Mark Scott, Founder & President, Commercial Mortgage Capital: As we head into the fall, the market remains extremely busy.
Mark Scott

As we head into the fall, the market remains extremely busy. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the U.S. GDP grew 4.2 percent in the second quarter of 2014, which was higher than expected. Indeed, we are now seeing unbelievable proceeds and phenomenal rates, as a result of rock-bottom spreads coupled with low Treasuries.

The increase in real GDP in the second quarter primarily reflected positive contributions from personal consumption expenditures (PCE), private inventory investment, exports, nonresidential fixed investment, state and local government spending, and residential fixed investment, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Current-dollar GDP — the market value of the nation’s output of goods and services — increased 6.4 percent, or $267.3 billion, in the second quarter, to a level of $17.3 trillion.

This positive capital markets news follows on the heels of a strong jobs report for July, the U.S. economy having added 209,000 jobs and grown at an annualized rate of 4 percent in the second quarter, according to the Commerce Department.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the professional and business services industry added 47,000 jobs in July and 648,000 jobs over the past 12 months. In July, employment continued to trend up across much of the industry, including a gain of 9,000 jobs in architectural and engineering services. Employment in temporary help services changed little over the month. Manufacturing added 28,000 jobs in July. Job gains occurred in motor vehicles and parts (up 15,000) as well as furniture and related products (up 3,000). Over the prior 12 months, manufacturing added an average of 12,000 jobs per month, primarily in durable goods industries.

Retail trade employment rose by 27,000, with employment continuing to trend up in automobile dealers, food and beverage stores, and general merchandise stores. Over the past year, retail trade has added 298,000 jobs. Employment in construction increased by 22,000 in July. Within the industry, employment continued to trend up in residential building and in residential specialty trade contractors. Over the year, construction has added 211,000 jobs.

Loan spreads are now tightening, due to the intense competition. The Fed is signaling that we are going higher soon, thanks to the economic pickup we see now. Lending institutions can reduce their spread in response to factors such as more competition from other creditors, less perceived risk in the lending market due to favorable economic conditions or increased liquidity in the secondary market for these loans. In addition, some lenders are giving unbelievable leverage and institutional mezzanine lenders are coming out of the woodwork.

The spigots are open full tilt, thanks to the current favorable market conditions. However, with a looming interest rate hike, now is the time for borrowers to lock in today’s low rates with a seasoned mortgage professional in order to get the best execution.

Mark Scott can be reached at or 973-716-0006.