(Howell, NJ – March 30, 2018) – Eastern Union Funding, one of the nation’s leading commercial real estate mortgage companies, announced today that it closed over $1 billion of commercial real estate loans in the first quarter of 2018. The CRE mortgage origination increased 40% year-over-year. Eastern Union attributes its recent growth to a commitment to people, technology and data. In 2017, Eastern Union invested over $3 million in its people/tech/data trifecta, resulting in new customized divisions to service today’s growing economy and launched an app that has quickly become a game changer for investors and lenders alike.
March 2018, the biggest monthly contributor in the first quarter, set a new company record at $643 million of closed CRE loans. The previous best month was only four month prior in December 2017, when Eastern Union closed $566 million. The recent increase in transactional volume is testament to the effectiveness of Eastern Union’s investment in tech and big data. In fact, seventeen percent of its volume in February and March came from FirstLook, the newest feature on the Eastern Union app that digitally matches and sends mortgage requests to lenders via an A.I. portal from a proprietary database of active borrowers. FirstLook was launched in early February at the MBA Conference.
Ira Zlotowitz, president of Eastern Union said, “We live in a world of smart cities, mobility, innovative fintech and cognitive automation. Our investments in tech and data have already increased deal flow and gained market share. The Eastern Union digital tools for borrowers and lenders have created market changing efficiencies to process a deal. We are light years ahead of our competition and are well positioned for the balance of 2018 and beyond.”
FirstLook was preceded by another app feature called Dashboard, a cloud based match making system, connecting sales brokers with buyers to provide each investor with customized real estate offerings. The list of offerings is being fed by deals inputted by Eastern Union’s national Affiliate Broker Division, consisting of more than 7,000 sales associates, compounding by 120 brokers per day.
Eastern Union’s one billion dollar first quarter represented a mix of 46% new purchases and 54% refinances. Sector breakdown is as follows – Multifamily, 67.47%. Retail, 10.72%. Mixed-Use, 9.13%. Office, 5.02%. Healthcare, 3.84%. Industrial, 2.27%. Other, 1.55%.
The CRE market has slowed since 2017, yet Eastern Union continues to grow its National footprint and CRE loan volume. Market predictions for the balance of 2018 continue to be meek, with the expectation of three interest rate hikes and mounting lending costs. Contrariwise, banks are actively lending, given the active and potential cash CRE represents. Even though lenders are currently more risk averse and banks have reverted to higher standards, lenders continue to look for clients with strong capital resources. Intuitional investors continue to increase their allocations and substantial amount of private equity funds continue to be active throughout the country. Additional market activity will come from the new momentum of the one trillion dollars of U.S. CRE loans set to mature over the next three years.
Eastern Union is actively expanding nationally, with the objective to onboard 200 experienced brokers in order to open an office in every major market throughout the United States within the next twelve months. With a customized in-house banking department, seasoned equity division and the infrastructure of eighty back office employees, Eastern Union is well situated to support its new markets with white glove treatment and help facilitate every deal; from origination through closing.
Mr. Zlotowitz commented, “We are excited about the success of 1Q at Eastern Union and recognize that providing the best services for our clients is paramount. As we expand our national presence, we are excited about partnering with experienced brokers throughout the country and continuing to stay ahead of the curve.”
ABOUT EASTERN UNION FUNDING: Eastern Union Funding (Eastern Union) is among the most active commercial real estate mortgage brokerage firms in the U.S., closing an average of $3.5 billion in transaction volume annually. Serving as trusted advisors to real estate owners and working with over 1,100 capital sources, Eastern Union and its affiliates deliver a full range of financing products covering the entire capital stack: including traditional mortgages, bridge and structured lending, and equity capital, for all major property types including multifamily, office, retail, mixed-use, healthcare and industrial. For more information about Eastern Union Funding, please visit easternuc.com.