Led by a massive decline in securitizations, quarterly commercial mortgage originations tumbled. But government-sponsored enterprise activity was up on an annual basis.
First-quarter commercial production was down 52 percent from the fourth quarter, the Mortgage Bankers Association announced today in its Quarterly Survey of Commercial/Multifamily Mortgage Bankers Originations. The decline was exacerbated by the "usual" fourth-quarter push to finalize yearend deals, though the impact of the credit crunch was also substantial.
Commercial mortgage business fell 53 percent from a year earlier, the report said.
A spokesman for the trade group said it doesn't report quarterly dollar amounts, but for all of 2007, MBA reported record commercial originations of $508 billion.
The average loan size in the first quarter was $12.3 million, down from $16.0 million the prior quarter and $13.8 million the previous year.
Hotel mortgage production was off 90 percent from the fourth quarter, when there were large portfolio sales, and down 60 percent from the first quarter 2007, MBA said. Multifamily originations fell 40 percent on a linked-quarter basis and were down 27 percent from the first quarter of last year
Retail property fundings decreased 31 percent from the prior quarter and 53 percent from the prior year. Office property loan volume during the first quarter was down 21 percent from the prior period and three-quarters lower than the first quarter of 2007.
Financing of industrial properties declined 18 percent from the fourth quarter and 37 percent from the previous year, while health care fundings were off just over one-quarter from the prior period and 15 percent from the prior year, according to the announcement.
Among commercial mortgage investors, originations for commercial mortgage-backed securities during the latest period sank 95 percent from the fourth quarter and 96 percent from a year prior, the data indicated.
Commercial bank originations dropped 56 percent from the fourth quarter and were down 28 percent over the past 12 months
First-quarter life insurance originations were down 27 percent from the prior period and off one-quarter from the prior year
While commercial production at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac edged down 5 percent from the fourth quarter, the secondary lenders saw a combined increase of 62 percent from 12 months earlier.