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MBA: Commercial mortgage originations fall short in Q1

Mortgage originations rise 12% on an annual basis, but drop 34% from Q4

Although multifamily mortgage originations rose 12% year over year in Q1, they retreated significantly from the previous quarter, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported Tuesday.

According to MBA’s latest Quarterly Survey of Commercial/Multifamily Mortgage Bankers Originations, multifamily mortgage originations plummeted 34% from the fourth quarter.

Compared to Q4, originations in Q1 for healthcare fell by 49%, originations for hotel properties declined by 45%, originations for multifamily properties declined by 40%, originations for retail fell by 32% and originations for office spaces fell by 30%.

That being said, a gain in originations for industrial properties “bucked the overall trend,” rising by 17% from the previous quarter.

However, when comparing Q1’s reading to the same time period last year, a rise in originations for industrial, health care and hotel properties led overall increases in commercial and multifamily lending volumes.

By property type, MBA’s report showed a 73% year-over-year increase in dollar volume of loans for industrial, a 41% increase for health care, a 14% increase for hotels, a 9% increase for retail and a 9% increase for multifamily properties. Notably, the dollar volume for office property loans remained unchanged.

Jamie Woodwell, MBA’s vice president of commercial real estate research, said the momentum seen in 2018's record year of borrowing and lending continued in the first quarter of this year.

"First quarter volumes were higher for nearly every property type, and double-digit growth in loan volume for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac led the increase among capital sources,” Woodwell said. “Low interest rates and strong property values continue to make commercial real estate an attractive market for borrowers."

According to MBA’s analysis, the dollar volume of loans originated in Q1 for government-sponsored enterprises grew by 14% year-over-year. In fact, life insurance company loans rose by 7% and commercial bank portfolios increased by 6%, while loans originated for commercial mortgage-backed securities moderately fell by 4%.

Despite these changes, the dollar volume of loans for GSEs decreased by 43% from the previous quarter. This mean originations for commercial banks fell by 34%, loans for life insurance companies retreated by 28% and loans for CMBS declined by 22%.

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