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Commercial lending could hit record this year

Overall commercial origination volume should end 2018 at or near record levels, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reported this week.

MBA’s latest forecast calls for commercial/multifamily originations to total $532 billion, which would slightly surpass last year’s record volume of $530 billion.

comorigin“In general, I think the commercial and multifamily mortgage markets have been very healthy,” said Jamie Woodwell, MBA's vice president of commercial real estate research during an interview Thursday. 

“You see that in terms of the levels of new originations, and the amount of mortgage debt that is being borrowed and being lent. We are anticipating these remaining strong.”

Woodwell said the commercial-mortgage debt outstanding stands at a record $2.2 trillion.

“Then also, the performance of those loans is remarkable,” he said. “It is hard to overstate how well those loans are performing, how low the delinquency rates are." 

The multifamily and industrial property sectors have been the stars of the asset classes, Woodwell said. Retail has fared less well in terms of income growth and asset appreciation, but the sector's property fundamentals are still doing Ok.

“We are continuing to see the fundamentals there [retail] relatively stable,” Woodwell said. “So, you are not seeing the same growth you might be seeing in NOIs [net operating income] that you are seeing in multifamily and industrial. We haven’t been seeing declines in those NOIs either.”  

Commercial prices also are still rising, though at a slower pace than in past years. Available capital and debt remains “robust,” Woodwell said.

MBA also forecast that multifamily mortgages originated by mortgage bankers will rise by 7 percent this year to $251 billion, with total multifamily lending at $302 billion. Multifamily lending volume is also expected to increase by 2 percent in 2019.


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