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Growth Projected for CRE Production

Q4 commercial mortgage originations off 7%

Feb. 6, 2012

By staff

Commercial mortgage originations increased last year, and the nation's mortgage bankers project growth for each of the next three years. Quarterly activity, however, was off.

Commercial real estate lenders originated 7 percent less in the fourth quarter than in the third quarter. But production was up 13 percent from the same quarter in 2010.

The findings were reported by the Mortgage Bankers Association in its Quarterly Survey of Commercial/Multifamily Mortgage Bankers Originations.

The trade group is holding its Commercial Real Estate/Multifamily Housing Convention in Atlanta.

The decline from the third quarter came despite a more than one-third jump in multifamily business at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to the highest quarter on record. Volume at the two companies was up 17 percent compared to the fourth-quarter 2010.

Conduit volume fell 26 percent from the third quarter and was down by half from a year earlier. Life insurance companies cut back on production by 23 percent from the record set in the third quarter and were off 13 percent from the year-prior period. Commercial bank production was down 15 percent from three months earlier but 122 percent higher than a year earlier.

By property type, health care financing surged 152 percent for the quarter though activity was off nearly a quarter from the year-earlier quarter. A more than one-half jump was recorded for industrial lending, and the increase was 43 percent compared to a year previous. Multifamily originations increased 29 percent over the prior three months and were nearly a third better than the same period in 2010.

On the downside was hotel production, which declined more than half from the prior quarter and was off 44 percent from the fourth-quarter 2010. A 38 percent quarter-over-quarter decline was reported for office property loans, while the year-over-year decline was 29 percent. Retail property production was down nearly a quarter from three months prior and 8 percent from a year prior.

Full-year 2011 CRE production jumped 64 percent from 2010.

MBA issued a forecast that indicated 2011 CRE production worked out to around $196.6 billion.

The trade group sees volume rising to $230 billion this year, $245 billion next year and $265 billion in 2014. By 2015, annual volume is expected to reach $290 billion.

"Our forecast anticipates continued strength in lending by life companies and the GSEs,
increased lending by banks and others, and a slow but steady return in CMBS activity," MBA Vice President of Commercial Real Estate Research Jamie Woodwell said in the report. "Low loan maturity volumes over the next few years, coupled with moderate sales transaction activity, will mean that a relatively robust supply of mortgage capital will be a catalyst for deal activity."

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