Freddie Mac's multifamily business had $15 billion in volume for 2010, down from $17 billion in 2009. The totals cover both its whole loan and bond guarantee business.

Almost 70% of the total, or $10.3 billion, came through the GSE's Capital Markets Execution program, the largest volume that program has seen.

The company claims it got 30% of multifamily mortgage new business last year.

Approximately 70% of the $13 billion in conventional settlements were for refinancings, with 28% to finance acquisitions and the rest for new construction. Adjustable-rate mortgages totaled $2.6 billion.

There was $1.5 billion in targeted affordable housing products.

Mike May, executive vice president of Freddie Mac Multifamily, said, "The market was slow early in the year, and then it was like a switch was flipped on in the third and fourth quarters and market volume surged. We funded approximately 50% of our annual volume in the fourth quarter.

"Property owners who were sitting on the sidelines early in the year started buying and selling properties later in the year partly due to market optimism, low interest rates and wanting to complete deals before the end of the year."

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