Due to the US’s downgraded S&P credit rating, interest rates will rise, but the question is when and how much. Opinions vary about the significance of this historic event, but all agree it will have some effect on real estate, both residential and commercial.
DSNews.com reports that on Monday, the S&P downgraded credit for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and 10 of the 12 Federal Home Loan Banks from AAA to AA+, sending shock waves through the market and resulting in decreased yields on US Treasuries.
Some experts expect interest rates to climb 500 basis points within the next six months. Others disagree. The National Association of Realtors expects that within the next 3-5 years, loan demand will be much higher and at that point the downgraded credit rating might contribute to higher interest rates. Analysts say if Moody’s and Fitch downgrade US credit, the impact could be more drastic. National Real Estate Investor reports the impact on potential multifamily borrowers:
“The emerging consensus among the U.S. commercial real estate community is that long-term interest rates will begin to rise in the near future. This is especially true for multifamily borrowers who have relied on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to finance their projects.”
While many Minnesota businesses and most of us in the real estate industry are not seriously impacted by the shutdown yet, there is still cause for concern. Now in Day 13 of the shutdown, it is already one of the longest in our country’s history. In the meantime while 22,000 state workers are out of work, the shutdown affects everyone from citizens who depend on social services to vacationers traveling to state parks to professionals who rely on state permits or licenses to do business. In the press lately are many accounts of individuals who have been affected. The question we are posing at St. Thomas, is how are local businesses and real estate being affected? If the shutdown is having an impact on your business or real estate sector, we encourage you to submit your comments at the end of this post.
Several Minnesota agencies that provide support to businesses and real estate are experiencing adverse effects or are shutdown completely. Minnesota Housing Finance, the state’s affordable housing bank, is under a partial shutdown. Loan servicing is still available but new applications may be delayed due to reduced staffing. Forgivable loans available through the state to homeowners affected by the North Minneapolis tornado are also on hold.
Commercial barge traffic on the Mississippi River may be restricted as early as this week, according to the St. Paul Port Authority, which is obligated to “keep its waterways open for commerce.” On Friday, SPPA’s counsel Eric Larson appealed the state’s move to suspend its dredging permits during the shutdown, citing that closure of just one of its four river terminals will result in 6,000 tons of commodities per week being unable to reach its destination. That’s the equivalent of 200 semi-trucks of product and includes staples such as livestock feed, water treatment chemicals, and recyclable metals, some of which are shipped from international locations.