Multifamily mortgage origination volume increased 60% in 2011 over 2010, with $110 billion in loans produced, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Last year there were 2,653 different lenders who made loans, but 72% of them did five or fewer originations.

The top five multifamily lenders in 2011, measured by total dollar volume, were Wells Fargo Bank NA, JPMorgan Chase, CBRE Capital Markets Inc., PNC Real Estate and Berkadia.

Jamie Woodwell, MBA’s vice president of commercial real estate research, noted that 2011’s multifamily production was more than double the amount of two years earlier. “The growth is a testament to the improvements in both the underlying multifamily property markets and the broader capital markets,” she continued.

A spokesman at MBA said the total commercial/multifamily volume for 2011 was $184 billion, but that number does not include figures from banks and thrifts. But the $110 billion for multifamily alone includes Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data which comes from financial institutions.

The information is from a comprehensive report MBA performed on the commercial real estate market last year. Recently the trade group put out data which showed 2Q12 CRE debt outstanding declined slightly from the first quarter, although there was an increase in multifamily debt outstanding.

Multifamily mortgages have also proven to be one of the more resilient asset classes in CMBS. A Sept. 25, Morningstar report on commercial property fundamentals said that multifamily CMBS deals can potentially reach recovery much faster than other CMBS structures.  

The overall rate of delinquency in the multifamily sector has retreated by 3.5 percentage points since peaking early last year.

"This comes as little surprise, given that potential homebuyers, uncertain of the direction of single-family house prices, have provided ample demand for existing multifamily space," said analysts in the report.

Morningstar's report also showed that overall CMBS issuance this year is expected to make a strong finish in the 4Q12. The numbers will likely be boosted by the boost in multifamily mortgage origination volumes. 

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