The commercial/multifamily originations market grew 19 percent in 2007, with mortgage bankers closing $507.7 billion in commercial/multifamily loans, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported today.

According to MBA’s 2007 Commercial Real Estate/Multifamily Finance: Annual Origination Volume Summation, increases in originations were seen across most property types and most investor groups, and were led by increases in loans for office buildings and loans intended for commercial mortgage-backed security (CMBS), collateralized debt obligations (CDO) and other asset-backed security (ABS) conduits. Intermediated loan volume grew 15 percent between 2006 and 2007.

"Even with the credit crunch hitting mid-year, 2007 still set a record for commercial/multifamily mortgage originations," said Jamie Woodwell, MBA’s senior director of commercial/multifamily research, in a statement. "The 2007 numbers show both the importance of the commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) market to commercial real estate finance and the depth of other funding sources, such as banks and thrifts, life companies, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and others."

Conduits were the largest single investor group for these mortgages — responsible for $225.2 billion, or 44 percent of the closed loan volume. Office buildings were the dominant property type — representing $140.7 billion, or 28 percent of the lending total.

Among major investor groups, Freddie Mac saw the greatest percentage increase in volume between 2006 and 2007, followed by Fannie Mae; CMBS, CDO and other ABS conduits; real estate investment trusts (REITs); and life insurance companies.

Lending for office properties once again was the leader in property type originations for 2007, followed closely by multifamily. Lending for office properties grew by 36 percent between 2006 and 2007. Lending for multifamily, health care, and hotel/motel saw increases, while retail and industrial saw slight declines over the year.

In a separate report, MBA’s quarterly index of commercial/multifamily mortgage bankers’ originations showed that through the first half of 2007, originations were running 38 percent ahead of 2006 levels. During the second half of 2007, commercial/multifamily originations fell 11 percent from their 2006 levels.


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