Last year was a slow year in the multifamily space for Freddie Mac. But it would've been slower if not for a strong surge in the second half of 2010. Freddie funded $15 billion worth of multifamily transactions through its multifamily whole loan and bond guarantee business in 2010. Funding volume, which encompasses the agency's targeted affordable housing products, is down from $17 billion in 2009. Executive Vice President of Freddie Mac Multifamily Mike May said although the market was slow early in the year, market volume surged during the third and fourth quarters. "We funded approximately 50% of our annual volume in the fourth quarter," May said. "Property owners who were sitting on the sidelines early in the year started buying and selling properties later in the year." Refinances accounted for about 69% of total 2010 settlements, acquisitions contributed to 28% and the remainder of funds were for new construction financing, Freddie said. The agency attributed 70% of multifamily volume, or $10.5 billion, to new purchases through its capital markets execution program, which offers fixed-rate products at Freddie's lowest price. This is the largest annual volume amount supported by the program to date and up 128% from $4.6 billion a year earlier. Freddie distributed approximately $500 million in multifamily band credit enhancements through the Treasury Department's new issue bond program and $3.5 billion with its own early rate-lock option. Funding for adjustable-rate mortgages fell 51% to $2.6 billion from $5.3 billion in 2009. Freddie Mac purchased $661 million in senior housing mortgages and $800 million in student housing mortgages. This, May said, helped stabilize the multifamily sector throughout 2010. "We created liquidity for our securities by bringing large deals to market about every other month," he said. "We have low delinquency rates, strong lender relationships and work with experienced borrowers who are committed to their properties." Write to Christine Ricciardi. Follow her on Twitter @HWnewbieCR.