Multi-family mortgages led commercial loan originations in 2011, accounting for $77.4 billion of the $184.3 billion closed commercial and multi-family mortgage transactions during the year.  The Mortgage Bankers Association released this information Wednesday as part of its Annual Origination Volume Summation.

The two government sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac along with FHA collectively accounted for $57.6 billion of the multi-family total with Freddie and Fannie taking a 57 percent share of the volume compared to 63 percent in 2010 and 85 percent in 2009.  Each of the three hit all time lows in multi-family volume as other investors picked up the pace in such lending.   Life insurance companies and pension funds were second in multi-family originations with $49.3 billion in closed transactions.

Loans for office properties had the second highest volume at $34.4 billion in originations.  Lending for retail properties saw the largest percentage increase among the major property types followed by multi-family and industrial properties. 

"Commercial mortgage lending continues to rebound from its 2009 lows," said Jamie Woodwell, MBA's Vice President of Commercial Real Estate Research.  "Originations for life companies, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and FHA were all strong, and banks, commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) issuers and others also saw strong growth.  With interest rates still low and stability returning to real estate fundamentals, the rebound is expected to continue in 2012."