New York lending activity to be driven by gains in real estate, construction

Jessica SarterCommercial Lending

Entrepreneurs and real estate gurus are scrambling to find small business lenders in New York City, as an emerging building boom promises a number of opportunities for savvy business owners and investors.

In light of the ongoing European debt crisis, a number of international banks have stepped in and are expected to dominate New York bond refinancing activity over the next two years, as property owners rush to find mortgages for roughly $18 billion worth of existing properties.

Last year, the New York Department of Buildings issued permits for more than 8,900 units – a 33 percent hike over 2010, when a mere 6,727 permits were issued. And the city must average some 20,000 new housing units per year to keep pace with population growth. But roughly 13,000 construction permits were issued during the first two months of this year alone. That figure marks a 14 percent increase from the same period last year.

"It seems that the principles of supply and demand are well intact here," writes Toni Haber for the Huffington Post, "the only problem being the length of time it takes for developers to respond to market needs and to actually be able to get these buildings up. We won't actually feel the economic impact of these new permits for at least a year or maybe several."

And as construction activity takes off, demand for new commercial loans is expected to soar. To add to the good news, investor confidence in the overall U.S. commercial real estate market has been rising in recent month, particularly in regards to credit conditions. While the housing sector has faced a fairly adverse marketplace in recent years, analysts now expect conditions to show strong improvement through this year.