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2011

  • Boxwood Means, Inc. Introduces Mercury PRO-PC Report (07/11)
  • Boxwood introduced its Property-Conditioned Mercury PRO report, or "Mercury PRO-PC" for short, that seamlessly integrates the assessment of property conditions with the results of Boxwood's commercial automated valuation model (AVM). Mercury PRO-PC is designed to assist regulated financial institutions in meeting revised Interagency Appraisal and Evaluation Guidelines for lending. ... Read More "Commercial banks and other regulated institutions seek new, cost-effective solutions to the added requirements for collateral valuation and portfolio monitoring imposed by the Guidelines," said Randy Fuchs, Boxwood principal and co-founder in a recent press release. "Mercury PRO-PC answers the call - and is not only compliant with a commercial evaluation - but also delivers unparalleled accessibility, price, data quality and data congruity with typical bank CRE loan collateral."

    Mercury PRO-PC incorporates a property inspection into the pre-existing Mercury PRO report that is available in 120 U.S. metropolitan areas and contains neighborhood small-cap market data, trends and a market value estimate derived from Boxwood's commercial AVM.

    Boxwood also introduced the release of its Property-Conditioned VALPRO report, or "VALPRO-PC", a more abbreviated report that supports commercial evaluations with integration of Boxwood's AVM and a property inspection. VALPRO-PC is available in roughly 250 metro areas.

    Fuchs added, "The Mercury PRO-PC and VALPRO-PC reports enable our subscribers to move forward with lending programs to small business real estate owners and property investors, along with enhanced portfolio monitoring capability, knowing that these tools complement safe and sound banking practices and will get the job done with the least amount of effort and cost."

    Boxwood's full suite of small-cap CRE collateral and market reports are available on the company's subscription-based web site, SmallBalance.com. .

  • Bloomberg Distributes SCPI Measures (04/11)
  • Bloomberg has introduced Boxwood's Small Cap Price Index (SCPI) to users of its Bloomberg Professional service, owned by Bloomberg Finance L.P. ... Read More Bloomberg believes that the two measures, SCPI-100 and SCPI-20, offer their subscribers a unique focus on the small commercial property market for sales under $5 million.The SCPI-100 includes 103 metro areas while the SCPI-20 represents 20 of the bigger metros that also comprise the S&P/Case-Shiller Index of housing prices. Users are able use Bloomberg's charting tools to analyze small CRE property prices against housing trends and other real estate and economic time series data.

    To learn more about Boxwood's SCPI measures, or how to subscribe to Boxwood's proprietary small cap price trends for 103 metro markets, go to this SmallBalance.com page..

  • Small-Cap CRE Research Published (03/11)
  • Smaller commercial properties in secondary and tertiary markets proved far less volatile in the downturn than much pricier real estate. Small and less-expensive properties actually may carry less risk than many assume.
    For a view-only copy of Boxwood's "Not One Size Fits All" article published in the April 2011 edition of Mortgage Banking magazine, click here. ... Read More

    2010

  • Boxwood Boosts Collateral Evaluations with New Mercury PRO Reports (07/10)
  • Boxwood Means, Inc. has introduced Mercury PRO to support collateral evaluations and real estate market due diligence ... Read More among small-balance lenders and investors. Mercury PRO is the industry's first automated valuation model (AVM) for small commercial properties with corresponding neighborhood-level market information. Its launch on SmallBalance.com comes at a time of increased demand by lenders for tools supporting commercial property valuations and real estate market assessment.

    "In the current market environment, periodic review of CRE loan portfolios is of paramount importance to lenders," said Randy Fuchs, a Boxwood principal. "Mercury PRO delivers fast, targeted and reliable information that reduces the market risk associated with making small-balance loan decisions."

    Mercury PRO combines the content of two other SmallBalance.com reports, VALPRO and the Mercury Report. Mercury PRO thus includes an AVM value for subject properties, correlating small-cap market information at the neighborhood level along with street maps and aerial building images. Fuchs added, "We believe Mercury PRO is a state-of-the-art type of report for property evaluations that can significantly enhance lender capabilities for collateral risk management in a cost-effective manner."

    Boxwood launched the SmallBalance.com web site earlier this year to promote greater accuracy, dependability and speed of decision-making by lenders and investors in the small commercial property and loan space. SmallBalance.com data and analytics, which are directly linked to the performance of small commercial properties and markets nationwide, are updated on a monthly basis from large databases of property listings, sales transactions and other property data. SmallBalance.com subscribers to Mercury PRO, VALPRO and the Mercury Report products include leading U.S. commercial banks, non-bank lenders and services firms.

  • Boxwood Inks Deal with RCA (06/10)
  • Boxwood Means, Inc. has completed a data licensing agreement with Real Capital Analytics, Inc. (RCA) that will enhance the market information ... Read More available in Boxwood's Mercury Reports. Mercury Reports define small commercial property market conditions and trends for subject properties on Boxwood's SmallBalance.com web site. RCA is the leading provider of CRE investment sales information in the industry.

    RCA's data augments Boxwood's other sources of sales information related to property transactions under $10 million in value. This licensing arrangement, including monthly updates from RCA, increases Boxwood's research leadership in the small-cap CRE arena as well as the firm's capability to support the origination, collateral valuation and loan review functions of its Mercury Report subscribers.

    2009

  • Boxwood Launches SmallBalance.com (6/09)
  • Boxwood launched its new subscription-based web site, www.smallbalance.com. Smallbalance.com delivers wholly new ... Read More data and analytics on the U.S. small-cap real estate market in support of heightened risk management and valuation activities among commercial banks.

    Given the immediate challenges of lenders and investors in assessing the quality of loan collateral in their portfolios as delinquencies rise and CRE market values continue to fall, the arrival of SmallBalance.com's reports offers real estate professionals timely and true measures of small-cap property performance. These products include VALPRO, an automated valuation model for small commercial properties, and Mercury Reports with subject-related rent and sales information supplemented by road maps and birds eye imagery. Both types of reports include national coverage and are instantly accessible as PDF reports by subscribers.

    A number of banks recently subscribed during the web site's earlier soft-launch phase. Lenders find the reports satisfy vital information needs and are current - data and analytics are updated on a monthly basis. Randy Fuchs, principal and co-founder of Boxwood Means, stated there are multiple reasons why SmallBalance.com reports are a boost to productivity and risk management tasks. "Employing VALPRO and Mercury Reports are a much faster, better and less costly approach than conventional methods of assessing collateral values and small-cap market conditions, particularly under stressed, present-day market conditions. In addition, this asset class is unique and tracks the performance of U.S. residential housing even more closely than it does the larger CRE property market."

    As a result, Fuchs suggested that "Drawing on mainstream CRE market data to assess the small commercial property market is like using the Dow Jones Industrial Average to benchmark performance of a small-cap mutual fund. In short, our tools bring the small-cap real estate market into sharper focus for clients."

    The small commercial property market of office, industrial and retail buildings under 50,000 square feet dominates the U.S. landscape with an estimated 16 million properties coast to coast. Consequently, small-cap properties comprise the bulk of CRE loan collateral in the portfolios of national, regional and community banks, among other lending institutions.

  • Boxwood Adds New Subscribers (6/09)
  • Two firms are the latest subscribers to ... Read More Boxwood's Mercury Reports. The Mercury Reports, which exclusively track small-cap rents and sales, are available in 80+ metro areas. These new subscribers, a national commercial real estate brokerage firm and a real estate capital markets investor, are able to proactively manage their respective property/loan portfolios with current rents and historical trends for major property types and sub-types that reflect the unique performance of small commercial property markets.

    2008

  • Study Shows Small Banks Gaining Market Share (12/08)
  • Boxwood's recent research uncovered that small banks ... Read More are indeed lending and taking market share from larger banks along with this activity. In a year-over-year comparison of small-balance commercial lending ending 2Q08, the top 100 banks lost 277 basis points (2.77%) in total market share while banks ranked 101 to 1,000 gained 208 basis points (2.08%). The shift in market shares of refinance loans, the largest component of recent loan production, was even more favorable for smaller banks. See the synopsis of the study for more discussion of the research results.
  • Fuchs Addresses Credit Union Conference (9/08)
  • At WesCorp's Annual Credit Outlook Conference in September, ... Read More Randy Fuchs presented Boxwood's latest research on the small-balance market to WesCorp's credit union member organizations. With only 2% of the total originations market, credit unions are a relatively untapped source of funding for small-balance borrowers. Yet, given the scarcity of lending alternatives today the role of credit unions in this marketplace is likely to grow over time.

    Randy presented the latest statistics on the trajectory of the market that include:

    The increased dominance of refinance loans - Purchase loans are down 60% year over year, but refinances have declined only 11%. Three out of four originations are now refinances.

    The playing field is growing more flat - The top 10 lenders account for only 17% of total originations, down a percentage point from last year. Some major lenders have left the playing field and some other regional and national banks have stepped up originations and grown more prominent.

    Delinquencies remain in check - Despite the noise about residential mortgages and negative perceptions generally about commercial mortgage loan performance, the reality is that small-balance loan quality today is sound. That said, Boxwood's analysis of the smallest cohort of loans under $1 million are showing recent indications of potential stress.

    Small-cap properties are highly vulnerable to trends in the residential housing market - Boxwood's new research reveals a strong correlation between small-cap property prices and housing prices. By contrast, there is a weaker relationship between the large cap commercial property world and the residential housing market. The implications for collateral and market risk assessment in the small-balance space are significant.

  • VALPRO Debuts at PMC (5/08)
  • VALPRO, Boxwood's automated valuation model for small commercial properties, debuts ... Read More at the Predictive Methods Conference (PMC), June 9-11 in San Diego. The PMC is a venue dedicated to professionals involved with collateral risk analytics on both commercial and residential sides of the business.

    VALPRO is offered by Boxwood and its partner, First American Commercial Real Estate Services (FACRES). VALPRO will be marketed in conjunction with FACRES' IVR product, a commercial valuation model that has been used by banks and non-bank lenders for similar valuation purposes for the past eight years. The IVR model, which Boxwood has supported analytically for years, will soon be upgraded to full automation as well. Together, these commercial automated valuation models offer lenders greater efficiency in processing small-balance loans, as well as seamless market coverage on a national scale. VALPRO demonstrations will be provided at FACRES's booth, Number 33, at the PMC.

  • Boxwood Participates in CREF Small Loan Session (2/08)
  • The consensus among panelists at the Small Loan session ... Read More of the Mortgage Bankers Association CREF conference was that this year would present solid opportunities for originators but fall short of last year's successes. In his presentation about the small-balance space, Randy Fuchs indicated that originations in the third quarter of last year were $31 billion, down almost 15% year over year. Full-year totals were unlikely to meet the $140 billion of the previous year as the once-hot, acquisition loan market has significantly cooled off. Meanwhile, Randy suggested that fears about deteriorating small-loan performance are premature: i.e., at 0.46% as of January, small-loan delinquencies are near historic lows and are closely tracking delinquencies for all conduit deals.
  • Boxwood to Launch Mercury Reports (1/08)
  • Boxwood will be rolling out new data reports in a few months ... Read More that focus on originations and underwriting for small-balance loans. Property-level information is scattered and difficult to find, as is data on overall market performance in this small commercial property space. Boxwood's Mercury reports, named after the Roman god of speed and commerce, will provide immediate access to quality information thus facilitating more deals for brokers and lenders.

    The Mercury reports, to be available online through subscription or pay-per-view, will offer metro-level rents, sales prices and cap rates for various property types, along with subject-related information and maps to help verify the collateral.

    Boxwood's rent statistics, trends and sales information are derived from for-lease and for-sale listings provided to us through a strategic alliance with LoopNet.

    2007

  • Fuchs Cites Downdraft at Mortgage Forum (12/07)
  • Randy Fuchs indicated that the residential meltdown will continue to affect small-balance originations, ... Read More based on updated mortgage statistics and forecasts presented at the Mortgage Brokers Forum on Small-Balance Commercial Lending in Las Vegas. In his keynote address, Fuchs cited trends for small-balance originations and small-cap property sales that are significantly off their peak in Summer 2006, with sizable declines in selected major markets that have also been significantly affected by the residential pull-back. That said, Fuchs suggested that the basic coordinates of the market - sheer size, fragmentation, solid loan performance - hadn't changed and continue to present opportunities for existing and new players.
  • Boxwood Releases Latest Market Reports (10/07)
  • Boxwood released its second quarter small-balance reports for 50+ metro areas. ... Read More For the nation as a whole, small-balance originations totaled $34.1 billion for the period, down less than 1% from first quarter. However, purchase mortgage volume is slowing as small-cap property sales have slipped from last year's high-water mark. To stay abreast of small-balance production flows, sales activity and lender market shares, contact us and order reports for your metro areas.
  • Scotsman Guide Publishes Boxwood Column (09/07)
  • Scotsman Guide recently began publishing the "Inside Small Balance" column ... Read More written by Boxwood Means. In each month's edition of Scotsman's Commercial Edition, Randy Fuchs draws upon Boxwood's mortgage database to offer insights into the market's dynamics and trends. The column is the only by-lined article by a non-Scotsman staff member appearing in the magazine.

    For an archive of published columns, click here.

  • Boxwood Publishes Lender Survey Update (06/07)
  • Boxwood and Scotsman Guide conducted a poll of lenders this spring as a brief update ... Read More of the comprehensive studies of the small-balance commercial market undertaken last year. The latest study findings indicate that while the market is still robust and growing, concerns about competition, credit and production volume are building. For a free copy of this pdf report, click on the title "Steady as She Goes: Small-Balance Market Update" on the Publications page.
  • Fuchs Keynote Highlights SBC Market Dynamics (05/07)
  • Far from monolithic, the small-balance commercial space comprises more than one "market" ... Read More according to analysis by Randy Fuchs. Randy presented Boxwood's latest research findings during his keynote address at the Mortgage Brokers Forum on Small-Balance Commercial Real Estate Lending last month in Orlando, Florida.

    Market trends show that growth in small-balance commercial (SBC) loan originations has been robust, but uneven. While loans of larger size have tracked the growth in the larger CMBS market, smaller SBC loan originations were adversely affected by the downturn in the residential housing market in the latter half of 2006.

    Randy presented other evidence of the unique characteristics and opportunities of the space such as the variation in cap rates and property prices in the small-cap world versus the larger commercial property market. He concluded his address with an upbeat assessment of the prospects for the remainder of the year, but with a few caveats:

    • The possibility of near-term production volatility caused by continued contraction in the housing sector.
    • Further pressure on SBC underwriting standards.
    • Increased competition for loans sourced through the broker channel.

  • Boxwood Partners with Investment Manager on REIT L/S Fund (02/07)
  • Boxwood is teaming up with a real estate investment manager to provide REIT research and analytics ... Read More in support of an established Long/Short REIT hedge fund. In this partnership, Boxwood will supply the fund with monthly updates of REIT stock selections based on Boxwood's quantitative real estate and financial models.

    This investment manager selected Boxwood's research after rigorous analysis and backtesting of the model's performance and alpha generation.

    Boxwood's REIT research is available on a subscription basis. As part of its REIT advisory service, Boxwood provides quantitative scores on over 100 REITs based on a wide range of market, real estate and financial analyses.

  • Boxwood Participates in Upcoming 2007 Conferences (01/07)
  • Boxwood Principal Randy Fuchs will speak at two upcoming small-balance mortgage forums. ... Read More The first is a panel session on small-balance commercial loans at the annual Commercial Real Estate Finance (CREF) conference sponsored by the Mortgage Bankers Association in early February. The second is the Mortgage Brokers Forum on Small-Balance Commercial Real Estate Lending in April. Randy will offer the General Address to participants at this latter symposium.
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