Multifamily Spotlight Q&A With Todd Phillips

At Capital One, Todd Phillips is responsible for the production of New York multifamily lending in all phases.

Todd Phillips’ career spans nearly 25 years. After starting his career in residential mortgage lending and corporate leasing, Todd has spent the last 20 years working in the banking industry, specializing in multifamily lending. At Capital One, Todd is responsible for the production of New York multifamily lending in all phases: construction, reposition and permanent. Over the course of his banking tenure, Todd has originated or underwritten more than $10B in loans.


MF Spotlight: What does your team at Capital One focus on?

Todd Phillips: I’m part of our New York market team. Within that team, I lead a group that is focused on multifamily apartment projects in all phases, from development to stabilized buildings—both on balance sheet and via agency execution. Supporting New York multifamily is exciting and we’re committed to finding solutions that make our clients’ lives easier.


MFS: Servicing clients during this past year with COVID-19 must have been challenging. How are you and your team doing during this?

TP: It has been challenging but we’ve remained focused on our clients and their needs, while also ensuring that our associates are able to take care of themselves. But staying connected to our clients and associates has been of paramount importance in this remote work environment. Capital One has done a great job helping to facilitate these connections. 


MFS: How has the pandemic affected the multifamily market in the greater New York area? 

TP: New York multifamily has fared fairly well, though renters and landlords continue to be under a tremendous amount of pressure. According to the Census’ Household Pulse Survey, roughly 9.7 percent of adults in the New York Metro area are not current on their rent or mortgage payments, leaving them with little confidence that they’ll be able to pay their next month’s rent or mortgage. Rental assistance provided by the American Rescue Plan will help as well. 

In prior downturns we’ve seen a trickle-down effect on housing performance, but in this environment it's been a combination of higher vacancy in market rate housing, where tenants with economic mobility are moving out of high density markets, while more affordable housing has been hit hard by unemployment and higher collection losses.

However, multifamily here is historically resilient so there are a lot of reasons for optimism.  


MFS: You mentioned resiliency. What makes the New York multifamily market resilient? 

TP: The New York multifamily market is underpinned by all that makes this region great. While a lot of that has been on pause during the pandemic, it will no doubt be back. I’m thinking of the attractions the area offers, the employment opportunities, and the diversity of people and ideas that you find here.  


MFS: What are you hearing from your clients? Do they share your optimism? 

TP: Many of them do share my optimism. New York has seen its fair share of devastating events, and the pandemic is no exception. But I believe we have moved from much fear and uncertainty to hope and optimism. The light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter. Questions still exist around rental assistance distribution and what the retail and office sectors will look like in the future. But that being said, we have seen very little value deterioration in the market and are beginning to see healthy leasing activity, which is a positive signal. Of course some of our clients still face significant challenges today, but they continue to persevere and we look to support them with sensible solutions.