The amount of commercial and multifamily mortgages originated in Q409 increased 15% from the previous quarter and 12% from Q408, according to a survey from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). "Commercial and multifamily mortgage originations picked up in the fourth quarter, but remain at a low level in absolute terms," said Jamie Woodwell, vice president of commercial real estate research at the MBA. "The trend shows stability coming back to the market, but the pick-up in volumes really indicates just how low origination levels had fallen." The MBA reported loan origination increases in every commercial category except multifamily properties from 2008. Compared to Q408, new loans increased 105% for hotels, 101% for retail properties, 59% for industrial properties and 4% for offices in Q409. Originations for multifamily property loans dropped 8% from Q408. Commercial bank portfolios experienced a 17% increase in loans through 2009 but an 82% decrease in loans for conduits of commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS). The dollar volume of loans for the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae (FNM) and Freddie Mac (FRE) dropped 26% from Q408 to Q409. From Q309, new loans increased 58% for health-care properties, 34% for retail properties, 30% for hotels and 19% for industrial properties and 4% on multifamily properties. New mortgages on office properties, however, dropped 12% from the previous quarter. The MBA recently projected 13% of the $1.45trn of outstanding commercial mortgages will mature and become due this year, followed by 7% in 2011. Of those servicing the commercial and multifamily loans, Wells Fargo (WFC) and its recent acquisition Wachovia Bank hold $473.8bn in US primary servicing, the most of any servicer through 2009, MBA said. PNC Real Estate and Midland Loan Services combined for $322.9bn, Berkadia Commercial Mortgage had the third-highest volume of $217.9bn. Write to Jon Prior.