The Mortgage Bankers Association reports commercial loan origination volumes for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration hit new records last year, with the multifamily segment leading the growth.
These three governement-related loan financiers accounted for $57.6 billion of all the activity in the segment, by far the biggest chunk of the market.
Commercial and multifamily origination volumes rose 55% in 2011 with mortgage bankers closing $184.3 billion in commercial and multifamily loans in 2011, the MBA said in its Commercial Real Estate/Multifamily Finance: Annual Origination Volume Summation report.
Meanwhile, life insurance companies and pension funds recorded the second highest volume of $49.3 billion in CRE/MF originations.
Multifamily loans dominated the market, with new originations in that category hitting $77.4 billion. Office properties followed closely behind at $34.4 billion in originations.
The MBA says first liens represented 93% of the total dollar volume closed last year.
Lending on retail properties experienced the largest percentage increase among all property types.
"Commercial mortgage lending continues to rebound from its 2009 lows," said Jamie Woodwell, the MBA's vice president of commercial real estate research. "Originations for life companies, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and FHA were all strong, and banks, commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) issuers and others also saw strong growth. With interest rates still low and stability returning to real estate fundamentals, the rebound is expected to continue in 2012."