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Stories about commercial lending on multifamily, office, retail and industrial properties.


Top-4 CRE Lenders Maintain Pecking Order

Wells holds top spot for 3 years running

April 4, 2012 (updated April 5)

By Mortgage Daily staff


The four-biggest originators of commercial mortgages maintained their standing in the latest annual survey. A huge merger three years ago propelled the biggest lender to the top spot -- where it has remained since.

With its Dec. 31, 2008, acquisition of Wachovia Corp., Wells Fargo & Co. solidified its status as the biggest commercial real estate originator in 2009. Wells Fargo was only the second-biggest CRE lender a year earlier, behind Bank of America Corp., while Wachovia was No. 5 that same year -- though it had been No. 1 in 2007.

Wells Fargo also dominated the ranking in 2010, and last year was no different.

The Mortgage Bankers Association released the 2011 report on Wednesday, and Wells Fargo ranked as the top originator of commercial and multifamily mortgages. The San Francisco-based firm originated 7,767 loans for $60.213 billion last year.

Wells was also last year's top originator for the sub-categories of commercial banks and savings institutions; Fannie Mae; the Federal Housing Administration and Ginnie Mae; real estate investment trusts and mortgage REITs; investment funds; and other investors.

In addition, it was the biggest CRE lender.

HFF LP held on to its No. 2 spot with 710 loans funded for $20.627 billion and also was 2011's top originator for credit companies.

No. 3 and No. 4, respectively, in both 2010 and 2011 were Meridian Capital Group LLC, with 2,778 loans closed last year for $17.254 billion, and CBRE Capital Markets Inc., which originated 893 commercial mortgages for $16.545 billion. In addition, CBRE ranked as the top originator for Freddie Mac last year.

Filling 2011's fifth spot was PNC Real Estate, where 2011 CRE production came in at 759 loans for $15.776 billion. PNC moved up from seventh a year earlier, knocking Prudential Mortgage Capital Co. from its No. 5 standing in 2010.

Rounding out the top-10 positions in 2011 were MetLife Real Estate Investments' 98 closings for $11.052 billion, Deutsche Bank Commercial Real Estate's 355 loans for $9.822 billion, Prudential's 485 units for $9.717 billion, Northmarq Capital LLC's 737 closings for $8.525 billion and JP Morgan's 155 loans for $8.000 billion. JPMorgan also was the top originator for the sub-category of commercial mortgage-backed securities.

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