Roundtable Weekly
House Democratic Leader and Other Policymakers Discuss Economic and CRE Market Issues
April 19, 2024
The Real Estate Roundtable's Spring Meeting April 15-16, 2024

This week’s Real Estate Roundtable meeting focused on national policies impacting commercial real estate, with an emphasis on the economy, the need for increased federal support for property conversions, and capital and credit issues. Guests such as House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) and other prominent policymakers also discussed the housing crisis, return-to-office issues, and the upcoming elections. (The Roundtable’ Spring 2024 Policy Priorities and Executive Summary)

Speakers & Policy Issues

John Fish, House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries, and Jeffrey Deboer
  • Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), center, with Roundtable Chair John Fish (Chairman & CEOSUFFOLK), left, and Roundtable President and CEO Jeffrey DeBoer, right, discussed policymaking in the House, the need to balance geopolitical urgencies with pressing domestic priorities, and finding bipartisan paths to solve the nation’s problems.
  • House Financial Services Committee Member French Hill (R-AR), right, engaged in a discussion moderated by Michelle Herrick (Head of Real Estate Banking, J.P. Morgan), left, that addressed the wave of maturing CRE loans and the future of a regulatory proposal to hike bank capital requirements known as “Basel III.” (Roundtable Weekly, March 8)
Jared Bernstein, Chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers
  • White House Council of Economic Advisers Chair Jared Bernstein, above, emphasized that affordable housing is a high-priority focus of the Biden administration—and welcomed a series of recommendations by The Roundtable on how the Biden administration could further support commercial-to-residential property conversions. He also discussed inflation’s role in credit and capital markets. (See story below)
Enice Thomas, Deputy Comptroller for Credit Risk Policy, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC)
  • Enice Thomas (Deputy Comptroller for Credit Risk Policy, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency), above, focused on economic risk for regional banks that service specific property types and locations within office and multifamily sectors. Thomas clarified that the OCC encourages bankers to work with borrowers early if any stress indicator arises in their portfolio. He added federal banking regulators are monitoring office markets closely as a wave of loan maturities looms. 
Kevin Palmer (Head of Multifamily, Freddie Mac)—right
  • Kevin Palmer (Head of Multifamily, Freddie Mac)—above right, with Roundtable Board Member Matt Rocco (President, Colliers Mortgage), left—spoke with Roundtable members about Freddie's role in the industry. He noted that the CMBS market is “humming” and added that planning for a significant refinance opportunity is important, although exceeding Freddie's caps is an FHFA issue.

Next on The Roundtable's meeting calendar is the all-member Annual Meeting on June 20-21 in Washington, DC, which will also feature meetings of RER’s Policy Advisory Committees.

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