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

Commercial Fundings Continue Deteriorating

MBA reports Q1 down 26% from Q4

May 13, 2009

By staff

The volume of commercial mortgages financed through securitizations has come to a virtual standstill. Overall, commercial mortgage originations have fallen nearly 90 percent since their peak in 2007. But one bright spot was mortgage production for industrial properties -- which shot up from the fourth quarter.

First-quarter commercial production fell 26 percent from the fourth quarter, according to the Q1 2009 Quarterly Survey of Commercial/Multifamily Mortgage Bankers Originations released today by the Mortgage Bankers Association. Volume was the lowest on record based on available data reported by MBA back to the first-quarter 2002.

Compared to the first quarter of last year, commercial originations were down 70 percent. Production was down 89 percent from the peak reached in the second-quarter 2007.

The latest decline was attributed to the continued recession, low borrower demand and constricted credit availability.

Based on an analysis of prior MBA data by, U.S. commercial production during the first quarter was around $8.1 billion, down from around $10.9 billion in the fourth quarter and approximately $26.6 billion in the first-quarter 2008.

Originations for commercial mortgage-backed securities conduits has practically come to a halt; CMBS financings were down 83 percent from the fourth-quarter 2008 and 96 percent below the first-quarter 2008. Compared to the second-quarter 2007 -- when conduit volume peaked -- CMBS production was down 99.8 percent.

Commercial banks originated 36 percent less in the first quarter than the prior period. Commercial mortgage volume at commercial banks was 80 percent lower than a year earlier.

Over at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, commercial mortgage production declined 17 percent during the latest period and was off by more than one-quarter from 12 months prior.

Originations for life insurers were 7 percent lower than the fourth quarter and were down two-thirds from the first-quarter 2008.

Mortgages secured by industrial properties were the only group to see a quarterly increase: 67 percent. But industrial originations were down by half on a yearly basis.

Quarterly hotel lending was unchanged -- though hotel fundings were down 88 percent from a year ago.

First-quarter health care originations tumbled 72 percent from the previous quarter and were 80 percent below the prior year.

Multifamily production fell 39 percent from the fourth quarter and 61 percent from last year's first quarter.

Retail property financings finished the first quarter 9 percent below the fourth quarter and more than three-quarters below the first-quarter 2008.

Office originations eased 4 percent for the quarter and two-thirds for the year.

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