Will This Be CRE Lenders’ New Best Friend?

 

Commercial real estate lenders could be getting a shot in the arm at just the right time. Low-income communities across the country are set to benefit from a new federal rule designed to encourage economic development. Tax benefits will accrue to investors who put money into projects located in thousands of districts designated as Opportunity Zones. That in turn could stimulate more construction lending at a time when overall CRE lending has stagnated.

Projects that otherwise would not get a second glance may now be appealing, said Roger Shumway, chief credit officer at the $1.3 billion-asset Bank of Utah in Ogden. “I see it opening up some areas that we haven’t had before,” Shumway said. “I can see it helping us quite a bit.”