Pandemic helping risky real estate bridge loans make a comeback

  • Harbor Group International took opportunity in bridge lending
  • Lending caps on Fannie, Freddie opens up market to competitors

Real estate investment firm Harbor Group International, an owner and investor in apartment complexes for more than 35 years, recently sold its first bond backed by riskier construction projects and properties in development scooped up in pandemic dislocations.
Harbor Group became a lender to often beleaguered apartment-building owners and developers by offering bridge loans, a type of short-term financing for real estate that needs to be repurposed, rehabilitated or stabilized. The projects often need cash up front before they are able to secure more permanent financing lines from the likes of multifamily-lending behemoths Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.

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Harbor Group International controls $19 billion in real estate investments and is constantly exploring real estate investment opportunities in the worldwide market.