Insights for What’s Next: Three Questions with Abe Ibrahim on the State of Commercial Real Estate in the Greater Philadelphia Market

April 11, 2023

Insights for What’s Next: Three Questions with Abe Ibrahim on the State of Commercial Real Estate in the Greater Philadelphia Market

Last month our own Delaware Valley Market Executive, Abe Ibrahim, participated in Bisnow’s Philadelphia Construction, Development & Design Trends event as moderator of the Building for Tomorrow: Development Designs and Trends panel of fellow commercial real estate thought leaders and experts in the Greater Philadelphia market. The event and panel discussions focused on the City of Philadelphia’s latest influential projects, emerging trends and best practices to navigate the current economy and market.

To recap this event, we asked Abe three questions about the state of commercial real estate in the region:

1) What are some current trends you’re seeing and how are rising interest rates affecting commercial real estate?

The rising interest rate environment is putting some pressure on a lot of commercial and industrial (C&I) and commercial real estate (CRE) projects. Developers, real estate asset managers and business owners should expect a tightening in the credit markets from both a pricing and structural aspect in 2023.

2) How does Northwest Bank differentiate itself from other banks in today’s competitive commercial real estate market?

Philadelphia is an extremely competitive market, and while we might be new to the region, we regularly compete against the top three to five banks. We differentiate ourselves by being very thorough upfront, while also balancing good speed to market – once a term sheet is issued, it has been reviewed and green-lighted by all necessary approving bodies, which means baring unforeseen underwriting discoveries (i.e. appraisal, environmental, title issues, etc.) we are full steam ahead until closing.

The second differentiator is relationship–building and the ability to be flexible within the market – local market decision making really sets us apart; we’ll go to bat for clients we really feel strongly about.

Northwest is competitive, yet disciplined, relationship-driven, and flexible, which combined gives the Bank a tremendous advantage in the Philadelphia market.

3) How important are strong banking relationships in today’s economy?

It is very important for clients and borrowers to have a strong banking relationship during an economic downturn. Having a strong relationship with your banker/bank allows borrowers to have their “finger on the pulse” (so to speak) regarding the capital and credit markets. Also, the experience of having worked together on several transactions in the past gives banks an inherent comfort level with new transaction to existing borrowers even during tough economic conditions.

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