The Mohr You Know

I was staring up at a mountain face prone to avalanches.

But I strapped up my helmet and drove straight up it anyway. I was high-marking, a thrilling albeit dangerous sport where you drive a snowmobile up a near-vertical mountain face until the snowmobile’s engine can’t take you any higher, and then hopefully turn around and come back down safely.

It’s an adventure that certainly isn’t without peril, but in the end when you’re back on solid ground, you have a great story to tell and a memory you’ll never forget.

In many ways, 2023 reminds me of my high-marking trips. Naturally, most CRE people are anxious and uncertain about the trail in front of them. They’re worried about the shifting of the snow beneath them.

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) 2023 Commercial Real Estate Finance (CREF) Outlook Survey, which polls the leaders of the top commercial and multifamily mortgage finance firms for their outlook for the year ahead, nearly 100 percent of respondents expect real estate markets to be unsettled during 1Q23.

Unsurprisingly, due to increased interest rates, most survey respondents anticipate that borrowing and lending volumes will decline in 2023. In fact, lenders expect to have a (slightly) stronger appetite to lend than borrowers will have to borrow due to muted transaction activity. ULI’s Real Estate Economic Forecast expects transaction volume this year to reach roughly $600 billion, which is in line with 2022’s volume.

Here at Mohr Capital, we understand why tenants and owners are feeling more trepidation than excitement about 2023. Nonetheless, we’re not standing still. We think 2023 could be a memorable year – one that not only makes for a good story but could also offer a lot of opportunity. Four out of 10 MBA survey respondents expect the market to be somewhat settled by 3Q23.

Even more encouraging, all signs along the path we’re on today are pointing to a glorious 2024. Sixty-five percent of MBA survey respondents say the markets will be somewhat or very settled by next year. Meanwhile, ULI forecasts transaction volume to strengthen to $750 billion, which would exceed annual volumes in all pre-pandemic years.

At Mohr Capital, we’re being more deliberate in how we approach this unknown trail and where we turn. But we’re still moving forward and ready to enjoy the adventure.