CRE Mortgage Starts Plummeted in ’08: MBA

After seeing phenomenal commercial mortgage originations in 2006 and 2007, figures from 2008 show a 65 percent decrease in volume, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s 2008 commercial real estate/multi-family finance report. “This is an important sign of the capital availability,” Jamie Woodwell, MBA’s vice president of commercial real estate research, told CPN. “While in 2006 and 2007, there were lots of loans being done very quickly, what this is showing is that there are fewer loans that are also probably taking longer to do.” If someone is looking to go into the market to borrow, it is important to get with their mortgage banker or originator and work with them to understand what the market is like right now, Woodwell said. They should make sure their expectations and those of the market are in line, he added. With the volume decrease, mortgage bankers closed $181.4 billion in commercial and multi-family loans. Decreases were seen across all property types and most investor groups, and were led by decreases in loans intended for commercial mortgage-backed security (CMBS), collateralized debt obligations (CDO) and other asset-backed security (ABS) conduits. Intermediated loan volume decreased 68 percent between 2007 and 2008, Woodwell said. Originations were dominated by multi-family loans – representing $64.6 billion, or 36 percent of the lending total. Among major investor groups, CMBS, CDO and other ABS conduits saw the greatest percentage decrease in volume between 2007 and 2008, followed by real estate investment trusts (REITs); special finance companies; and life insurance companies, the summation showed.“Last year’s multi-family loans totaled 23 percent,” Woodwell said. “What we have seen is the big impact of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac doing extraordinary volume in 2008 while a number of other investor sources were pulling back.” In 2008, the impact of the depths of the credit crunch is evidence, he said. The 2008 snapshot also includes the period where the capital markets were at their toughest when commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) and the market really pulled back, Woodwell said. “These results are showing us what was going on in 2008, study of mortgage community,” he said. “What it shows is that big drop. In the extraordinary volume years of 2006 and 2007 we saw record origination volumes. This (summation) gives us the juxtaposition of that with the impact of the credit crunch.” On June 2, the Mortgage Bankers Association stated the weakening economy and continued credit crunch led to increases in commercial/multifamily mortgage delinquencies during the first quarter of 2009 in its Commercial/Multifamily Delinquency Report. “Commercial and multi-family mortgage delinquency rates continued to rise in the first quarter,” Woodwell said. “Delinquency rates on commercial and multifamily mortgages held by banks and thrifts, by Fannie Mae and in CMBS are all now at levels higher than those seen following the 2001 recession.” First quarter delinquency rates on commercial mortgages held by life insurance companies remained below the 2001 recession levels, according to the report. Between the fourth quarter of 2008 and first quarter of 2009, the 30+ day delinquency rate on loans held in commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) rose 0.68 percentage points to 1.85 percent. The 60+ day delinquency rate on loans held in life insurance company portfolios rose 0.05 percentage points to 0.12 percent. The 60+ day delinquency rate on multifamily loans held or insured by Fannie Mae rose 0.04 percentage points to 0.34 percent. The 90+ day delinquency rate on multifamily loans held or insured by Freddie Mac rose 0.08 percentage points to 0.09 percent.