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Commercial and multifamily lenders reach record loan volume in 2018

Commercial and multifamily mortgage lenders enjoyed a historic run in 2018, closing a record $573.9 billion of loans.

ApartmentBuildingThat’s according to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) and its Commercial Real Estate/Multifamily Finance Annual Origination Volume Summation, which reported an 8 percent jump in multifamily lending volume compared to the previous year — which itself set a new record high at the time.

"Borrowing and lending backed by commercial and multifamily properties hit another new record last year,” said Jamie Woodwell, MBA’s vice president of commercial real estate research. Woodwell cited solid fundamentals, rising property values, low interest rates and strong appetites from both borrowers and lenders as contributing factors to the spike.

“Repeat participants in our survey increased their lending by 4 percent during 2018, with the remaining growth coming from the addition of new firms," Woodwell said.

First-lien loans made up 96 percent of the record volume. Commercial-bank portfolios led the way with $174 billion of the total sum, with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac combining for another $142.3 billion.

The largest share of origination volume, $266.4 billion, went toward multifamily properties, with office buildings and retail properties coming in second and third. The multifamily share accounts for 46 percent of the $573.9 billion total — another record, according to Woodwell — and puts the multifamily sector "even further ahead as the dominant lending target," he said.


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