Fannie Mae provided $17 billion in mortgages for multifamily properties in 2010, down from $20 billion in 2009.

Commercial mortgage-backed securities made up 97% of the secondary market execution of these loans, up from 81% for 2009.

By type, large loans (over $25 million) and credit facilities totaled $5.5 billion; small loans (under $3 million or in high-cost areas, $5 million) were $2.4 billion; affordable housing $830 million; manufactured housing communities, $540 million; and senior housing, $640 million. Fannie Mae said there could be some overlap among categories.

Previously, Freddie Mac said its multifamily business had $15 billion in volume for 2010, down from $17 billion in 2009.

Separately, the latest quarterly survey from the National Multi Housing Council found the Equity Financing Index rose to a record high at 74%, with 52% of respondents saying they had greater access to equity capital now than the previous three months.

The debt financing index fell from 82 in the October 2010 survey to just 48 for the most recent survey, due to higher interest rates in the past three months. Still half of the survey's respondents said borrowing conditions were unchanged compared with three months' prior.

Higher demand is continuing to drive a tighter rental market as the Market Tightness Index hit 78, up from 77 in the October survey.

"Rising apartment demand reflects a drop in demand for homeownership in today's marketplace. This growing demand against the backdrop of the lowest apartment starts in 40 years — barely enough to offset the units lost to demolition and obsolescence — will result in further tightening in the apartment sector in the near term," said NMHC chief economist Mark Obrinsky.

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