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Huge 31 Percent Jump for Multifamily Originations in 2011 Q4

by Houston Agent

Multifamily originations posted huge totals for the fourth quarter, yet further confirmation of the housing sector's ascent.

The fourth quarter of 2011 was a productive period for multifamily originations, which increased by 31 percent year-over-year according to the latest research by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).

Pooled with other loan offerings, including industrial property loans, retail loans and health care loans, the entire commercial/multifamily lending sector was also up by 13 percent year-over-year, due in no small part to the huge uptick in multifamily activity.

Jamie Woodwell, the MBA’s vice president of commercial real estate research, said there was considerable demand among GSEs for multifamily originations.

“In the fourth quarter, multifamily originations for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac hit a new all-time high,” Woodwell said. “While the CMBS market continued to be held back by broader capital markets uncertainty during the past year, others – like the GSEs, life companies and many bank portfolios – increased their appetite for commercial and multifamily loans.”

The last couple of months, nearly every statistic involving multifamily properties has involved large, double-digit increases. As we recently reported, according to the Commerce Department, multifamily completions were up in December by 51.5 percent from November and 47 percent from December 2010.

Even more promising, housing starts for multifamily units were up 60 percent in 2011, suggesting even more completions in the future, and, in a stat that directly ties in with originations, multifamily activity at the Architecture Billings Index, which charts the reported billings from architecture firms, was the highest among all sectors of construction.

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