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Could residential markets learn from CMBS trends?

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While residential housing experts fret about the future of market recovery -- threats appear to be looming left and right, from higher rates to increased regulation -- the boom in commercial mortgages is getting less ink. But could the boom in CMBS hold lessons for the residential market?

The Wall Street Journal covers the commercial boom:

Although the market slowed temporarily when rates began rising, it bounced back quickly. Wall Street is on pace now to package and sell to investors as much as $90 billion in U.S. commercial mortgage-backed securities this year—nearly double the $48.4 billion issued in 2012 and the largest amount since 2007. CMBS issuance has remained robust despite mortgage rates that are as much as one percentage point higher than they were in the early spring.

Much of the CMBS volume reflects new loans that are refinancing older mortgages. And half of the issuance has occurred since July, according to trade publication Commercial Mortgage Alert. That suggests landlords are rushing to refinance their properties on worries that interest rates could rise further.

It's been argued that as rates begin to rise, new demand will come off the sidelines -- generating new refi activity, as well as increased demand for purchase mortgages. If trends in the CMBS market are indicative of anything, it's that this line of thinking for residential mortgage has at least one, huge case study to point to as proof-of-concept.

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