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Quarterly residential mortgage production by lender. Subprime, Alt-A, home equity and conforming originations. Volume by quarter since 2003.

Commercial Mortgage Originations Stronger

Commercial banks, health care financings lead increase

Feb. 3, 2010

By staff

Quarterly production of loans secured by commercial real estate increased on a quarterly and annual basis. Among lenders, commercial banks led the rise, while the biggest increases were seen among loans secured by health-care properties.

Commercial mortgage originations climbed 15 percent in the fourth quarter from the previous quarter. Compared to a year earlier, commercial production was 12 percent higher.

The findings were outlined in the Mortgage Bankers Association's Q4 2009 Quarterly Survey of Commercial/Multifamily Mortgage Bankers Originations.

"The trend shows stability coming back to the market," said MBA Vice President of Commercial Real Estate Research in the statement. "But the pick-up in volumes really indicates just how low origination levels had fallen."

The rise was fueled by a 39 percent quarterly increase at commercial banks. Volume in the sector was up 17 percent from the final quarter of 2008.

Also surging were life insurer originations, which were up more than a third on a quarterly basis and a whopping 112 percent from a year prior.

Conduit originations were down by half from the third quarter and off 82 percent compared to the fourth-quarter 2008, while multifamily activity at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac fell 17 percent from the prior period and more than a quarter from the prior year.

Despite the decline at Fannie and Freddie, industry-wide multifamily production was up 4 percent from the third quarter -- though it was down 8 percent year-over-year. Office-secured originations were off 12 percent but were 4 percent higher than the fourth-quarter 2008.

All other property types showed quarterly increases, with health care originations leading the way -- rising 58 percent from the previous quarter. Health care activity was up just 1 percent from a year earlier.

Hotel financings climbed 30 percent from the third quarter and 105 percent from 2008, and retail production increased by a third and was 101 percent better than a year prior. Industrial volume rose 19 percent and was 59 percent better than the previous year.

The average commercial mortgage size climbed from the third quarter's $9.9 billion to $11.0 million -- the highest level of last year -- according to MBA.

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