Commercial Mortgage Origination Volumes Slid Steeply in Q1


Commercial mortgage loan originations were 56 percent lower in the first quarter of 2023 compared to a year ago and decreased 42 percent from the fourth quarter of 2022, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Quarterly Survey of Commercial/Multifamily Mortgage Bankers Originations.

“While the first quarter is typically the quietest quarter of the year, borrowing and lending backed by commercial and multifamily properties declined in the first quarter to the slowest pace since the first quarter of 2014,” says Jamie Woodwell, MBA’s head of commercial real estate research. “Uncertainty and volatility in regard to interest rates and property values, and supply and demand imbalances for some property types, has led to a logjam in commercial real estate sales and financing markets.

“As loans mature and adjustable-rate loans reset, we should start to get greater insights into where things stand,” Woodwell adds.

Decreases in originations for all major property types led to the overall drop in commercial/multifamily lending volumes when compared to the first quarter of 2022. There was a 72 percent year-over-year decrease in the dollar volume of loans for industrial properties, a 69 percent decrease for health care properties, a 67 percent decrease for office properties, a 55 percent decrease for multifamily properties, an 8 percent decrease for hotel properties, and an 8 percent decrease for retail properties.

Among investor types, the dollar volume of loans originated for life insurance company loans decreased by 73 percent year-over-year. There was a 67 percent decrease for investor-driven lenders, a 59 percent decrease in commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) loans, a 54 percent decrease for depositories, and a 14 percent decrease in the dollar volume of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans.

On a quarterly basis, fourth-quarter originations for health care properties decreased 65 percent compared to fourth-quarter 2022. There was a 61 percent decrease in originations for office properties, a 44 percent decrease for multifamily properties, and a 36 percent decrease for industrial properties. Originations for retail properties increased 12 percent and originations for hotel properties increased 5 percent.

Among investor types, between the fourth quarter of 2022 and first quarter of 2023, the dollar volume of loans for life insurance companies decreased 56 percent, loans for depositories decreased 48 percent, originations for investor-driven lenders decreased 42 percent, and loans for GSEs decreased 40 percent. The dollar volume of loans for CMBS increased by 99 percent.

Photo by Javier Rincón on Unsplash

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