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Commercial and multifamily loans grow in first quarter

Despite a New York Fed report that revealed a lower industrywide home-loan origination volume in the past first quarter, new data from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) shows that commercial and multifamily lenders had a strong first three months of 2019.

ApartmentBuilding2Commercial and multifamily loan originations grew 12 percent year over year in the first quarter, according to the MBA’s quarterly commercial and multifamily mortgage bankers originations index.

“The momentum seen in 2018's record year of borrowing and lending continued in the first quarter of this year,” said Jamie Woodwell, MBA's vice president of commercial real estate research. “First-quarter volumes were higher for nearly every property type, and double-digit growth in loan volume for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac led the increase among capital sources. Low interest rates and strong property values continue to make commercial real estate an attractive market for borrowers.”

Origination gains for industrial properties (73 percent year-over-year growth in dollar volume), health care properties (41 percent) and hospitality properties (14 percent) drove the overall increase. The retail and multifamily sectors each had year-over-year growth of 9 percent, while the dollar volume of office-property loans was flat.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac increased their dollar-volume originations by 14 percent year over year. Loans through life insurance companies and commercial bank portfolios were up 7 percent and 6 percent, respectively, while loans originated through commercial mortgage-backed securities were down 4 percent on an annual basis.

The typical seasonal fluctuations in the first quarter of the year caused total origination activity to decrease compared to fourth-quarter 2018. Originations fell 34 percent quarter over quarter, with most property types declining, although industrial properties bucked the trend with 17 percent quarter-over-quarter growth.


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