Tiny Spaces, but Lots of Room for Pace-Type Financing

Move over mortgages – there’s a new kind of real estate that could benefit from a new type of funding. As higher interest rates and rising prices are making affordable housing a challenge in many markets, cities can fight the problem with a small-scale solution – accessory dwelling units (ADUs).

What’s an ADU?

ADUs are additions (attached or detached) to homes or converted spaces within already existing buildings that can be used as rental units. Local governments on the west coast have become friendlier to the development of ADUs as a new housing option for strapped markets….

Originations and Issuances, by the Numbers

To date since the inception of Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing, $5.17 billion has been advanced to homeowners under residential PACE (R-PACE) programs, and an additional $672 million has been advanced for commercial PACE (C-PACE) projects. In 2017, R-PACE originations totaled $1.6 billion, down 6% compared with 2016. In 2018 so far, R-PACE originations have reached $372 million. C-PACE originations, on the other hand, are on the rise, totaling $251.4 million in 2017, which is almost double 2016’s volume. So far in 2018, C-PACE originations have reached $84.8 million….

Whether or not you believe in global warming, the recent frequency of severe climate-related events – from mudslides to bomb cyclone snowstorms – suggests Thomas Friedman had it right years ago when he coined the phrase “global weirding.”  One would think that in this environment, the outlook for Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing, which makes energy efficiency possible for the average homeowner, would be sunny and bright.

Consider further that Bitcoin, a mostly speculative pursuit for which the mining of a single unit uses as much electricity as an average American home for two years,…

Originations and Issuances, by the Numbers

$3.7 billion has been advanced to homeowners under residential Property Assessed Clean Energy (R-PACE). Additionally, nearly $500 million has been advanced for commercial PACE (C-PACE) projects. Although R-PACE currently accounts for just .03% of the $12.8 trillion in household debt, it is one of the fastest growing sources of consumer credit and expected to double within the next year.

Through May 2017, the cumulative issuance of R-PACE loan securitizations between Renovate America, Ygrene, and Renew Financial reached $3.4 billion, up from $2.7 billion through December 2016 and $1.03 billion through December 2015….

Recent comments from HUD Secretary Ben Carson struck a sour note for supporters of the PACE loan program, through which thousands of homeowners and businesses have made energy-efficient improvements to their properties. Just last year, in an effort to boost the program, the FHA, under the Obama Administration, said it would back mortgages on homes encumbered by PACE loans. But earlier this month, Carson said that the new administration is “very, very amenable to adjusting that policy.” The comments suggest a clear willingness to reverse the FHA policy—and beyond that, signal an existential threat to a well-intentioned program….

In this ValueWalk article, Joseph Cioffi offers insight into concerns surrounding the Property Assessed Clean Energy program (PACE), including the adequacy of disclosures made at the time a PACE-funded project is sold to a homeowner as a means of financing energy efficient home improvements through a tax assessment on the property. Click here to view the full article.