American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) data showed that commercial mortgage lending rose in 4Q09.

Lending by the life insurance industry in the fourth quarter was $4.8 billion, according to the industry group’s commercial mortgage commitment survey. This is up 12.4% over the third quarter and 20% higher than the year-ago period.

The four quarter moving average now stands at $4.1 billion, and showed the first increase since 1Q08, according to research from Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

However, the overall level of lending remains well below the levels from the past decade.

According to figures reported by BofA, for the full year, lending totaled just $16.4 billion. This compares with $27 billion in 2008 and a $40 to $45 billion a year pace between 2005 and 2007.

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