5 Commercial Lending Challenges Facing New Multifamily Projects in 2023

The year 2023 has introduced a unique set of challenges within the commercial lending environment, particularly when it comes to financing multifamily projects. Multifamily housing plays a vital role in addressing housing needs and urban development, yet it continues to face obstacles when seeking bank financing. Specifically, developers are seeing an increase in challenges when it comes to these five things: evolving risk perception, market volatility, regulatory complexity, increased credit scrutiny, and intense competition for financing.

Evolving Risk Perception

In 2023, multifamily projects still contend with a cautious risk perception by lenders. Unlike single-family homes, multifamily properties come with a range of operational complexities. Lenders remain concerned about tenant turnover, rent collection, speculation around rent rate increases and decreases, property maintenance, and overall management quality. These factors contribute to a perceived higher level of risk, which makes securing bank financing for multifamily projects more challenging.

Market Volatility in 2023

Real estate markets, like any other sector, are subject to market volatility. In 2023, multifamily projects face potential fluctuations in property values and rental income. Economic uncertainties, including factors such as rising interest rates, can make lenders hesitant to fund multifamily projects. The cyclical nature of real estate markets remains a significant challenge for developers seeking financing this year.

Regulatory Complexity

The multifamily lending landscape continues to be heavily regulated in 2023, adding a layer of complexity to the financing process. Lenders must navigate a range of government regulations and guidelines, including those related to affordable housing and rent control. These regulations can be a hurdle for multifamily projects, making it more challenging to secure bank financing.

Creditworthiness Matters

Creditworthiness remains a critical factor when seeking financing for multifamily projects. Developers and investors need to demonstrate strong financial track records and provide substantial equity contributions. Smaller developers or those with less-established credit profiles may find it particularly challenging to secure bank financing for their multifamily projects this year.

Intense Competition for Funds

Multifamily projects continue to face stiff competition for financing in 2023. Banks allocate limited funds for commercial real estate lending, and multifamily projects must vie for these resources with other asset classes such as office buildings and retail centers. This heightened competition can further impede the ability of multifamily developers to secure the necessary funding.


In 2023, multifamily projects remain a crucial solution to the ever-growing demand for affordable housing and urban development. However, they continue to face challenges when seeking bank financing. These challenges, including evolving risk perception, market volatility, regulatory complexities, creditworthiness requirements, and fierce competition for funding, persist in the current landscape.

To address these issues, stakeholders such as developers, contractors, investors and even the lenders, must work collaboratively to find innovative solutions and foster a supportive environment for multifamily housing. In doing so, we can ensure that communities have access to the quality housing options they need and continue to thrive in an evolving commercial lending environment.


Jeremy Bartolovitch

Vice President, Southeast Region

The Douglas Company

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