We wanted to take a moment this holiday season to share our gratitude. We feel genuinely blessed to have such great relationships with our customers, referral partners, lenders and other supporters. Thank you for all that you do, and we truly hope your holidays are amazing.
As always, we are excited to share a combination of market highlights and CLX successes from this past year that we believe you will find of interest including the following:
- Bank merger activity remained hot in 2019. Through September of 2019 there were 125 bank mergers in the United States, and on top of that another 35 charters were merged into other institutions that already owned the Banks. There were some big mergers nationally, the biggest of which was likely BB&T and Suntrust’s merger. In Illinois, where CLX is headquartered, there were a number of notable large regional mergers including MB Financial & Fifth-Third Bank, First Midwest Bank & Bridgeview Bank, Urban Partnership Bank & Providence Bank, TCF Bank & Chemical Bank, and Wintrust & Countryside Bank. The number of Banks available in the United States continues to decrease quite dramatically each year as there were only a few new charters issued.
- CLX Partnered with Myriad Capital, LLC in October to launch its own hard money lending fund targeting hard money / bridge real estate loans with loan amounts of $1 million and less, helping to fill the void left as bank consolidations continue. You can learn more about the fund here.
- Interest rates in general saw a steep decline in 2019. As an example, on January 1st the 5 Year Treasury Rate was 2.49%. As of December 4th, that rate was 1.60%, and the 5 Year Treasury Rate hit a low for the year of 1.32% on September 4th, 2019. Borrowers once again have the opportunity to lock in historically low interest rates on all of their financing needs.
- Over 30 new lending partners and programs were added to CLX’s list of lending partners in 2019, despite a number of lenders being lost to bank / lender consolidation, bringing the total number of lending partners CLX works with to just under 300.
- SBA 504 rates dropped dramatically in 2019, providing Borrowers wanting to acquire or refinance owner-occupied commercial properties the opportunity to lock in long-term fixed rates at a historically low level. The low in 2019 was hit in September with the 25-year fixed rate at 3.46%, the 20-year fixed rate at 3.36%, and the 10-year fixed rate (used for equipment finance) at 3.55%. Just to highlight how crazy a year it was for interest rates, the 10-year fixed rate for equipment was actually higher than the 20 and 25-year fixed rates for real estate most of the year. At the bottom of this email is a chart that shows the SBA 504 rate trend since the 25-year fixed rate option started in July of 2018.
- In October of 2019 CLX passed $475 million in total loans funded since inception. You can look at a sampling of the loans we have done here.
- The Prime Rate, after having last seen an increase less than a year ago on December 20th, 2018, saw three decreases take effect in 2019 of 0.25% each on July 31st, September 18th, and last on October 30th. After starting the year at 5.50% the Prime Rate now sits at 4.75%. For variable rate borrowers that represents a decrease in borrowing costs of 0.75% or $750 per year for every $100,000 borrowed, providing a little more capital for their holiday shopping.
- CLX turned 10 years old in September of 2019. What a ride it has been, and a ride we hope will last for another 10 years and beyond with all of your support.
Thank you again for helping to make 2019 another successful year for CLX. We look forward to the opportunity to continue to work with you going forward and wish you a great holiday season and an exceptionally strong 2020.