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

Commercial Originations Bounce Off Bottom

Q2 commercial mortgage production up 50% from Q1

August 6, 2009

By staff

Led by a jump in originations for commercial mortgage-backed securities, quarterly commercial mortgage production climbed, a new industry report indicated. By property type, financing for health care and hotel properties registered the biggest gains. The latest activity suggests commercial activity may have already bottomed out.

U.S. commercial originations shot up 50 percent from the first quarter in the Mortgage Bankers
Association's Quarterly Survey of Commercial/Multifamily Mortgage Bankers Originations released today.

The improvement followed a 26 percent decline during the first-quarter, "a quarter with very little activity." The report noted that commercial production traditionally picks up between the first and second quarters.

MBA suggested that commercial mortgage originations may have hit bottom in the first quarter.

Leading the increase were CMBS fundings, which soared 471 percent from the first quarter. Life insurance companies pushed production 46 percent higher, and government-sponsored originations were up 39 percent.

Second-quarter financing for health care properties leapt 173 percent. Hotel lending climbed 129 percent, retail property originations were 93 percent more and multifamily production increased 73 percent. However, office-secured fundings were off 28 percent and industrial property financing tumbled 46 percent.

Compared to the second-quarter last year, commercial mortgage volume was down 54 percent.

"Commercial and multifamily mortgage
originations continue to feel the effects of the recession and the credit crunch," MBA Vice President of Commercial Real Estate Research Jamie Woodwell explained in the statement.

Office-secured mortgage production tumbled 81 percent from a year ago, while hotel financing volume sank 77 percent and health-care lending dropped 70 percent. Originations on loans secured by industrial properties declined by 65 percent, and retail property financing fell 51 percent

The least worst performance was in the multifamily sector, where originations only decreased 21 percent from last year.

Commercial banks cut back their lending more than any other lender type: 83 percent. CMBS originations were down 57 percent from the second-quarter 2008, and life insurers cut production by 54 percent.

But multifamily originations at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac rose 2 percent from a year ago.

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