MBA: Multifamily Lending Hits $360 Billion in 2020

Last year 2,140 different multifamily lenders provided a total of $359.7 billion in new mortgages for apartment buildings with five or more units, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported.

Last year’s $359.7 billion in multifamily lending volume represented a 1 percent decrease from 2019’s record level of $364.4 billion, MBA reported in its annual multifamily lending market analysis. Thirty-five percent of the active lenders made five or fewer multifamily loans over the course of the year.

“Multifamily borrowing and lending remained strong in 2020, despite the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Jamie Woodwell, MBA Vice President of Commercial Real Estate Research. “Robust financing for properties, increased refinancing activity through government-backed loans and consistent mortgage availability from banks led the market to a level of mortgage originations that was essentially flat from the record year of 2019.”

MBA’s 2020 Multifamily Lending Report is based on its surveys of the larger multifamily lenders and the recently released Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data that covers multifamily loans made by many smaller lenders, particularly commercial banks.

The $359.7 billion of multifamily mortgages originated in 2020 went to a variety of investors. By dollar volume, the greatest share (46 percent of the total) went to Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. 

The top five multifamily lenders in 2020 by dollar volume were Walker & Dunlop, Berkadia, CBRE, Wells Fargo and Greystone.

The report is the most comprehensive view available of the multifamily lending market and includes:

  • A detailed summary of the $359.7 billion multifamily market;
  • Profiles of distinct market segments, including the very-small loan (loans of $1 million or less) lender segment;
  • A breakout of 2020 multifamily lending volume by investor group;
  • A listing of 2,140 lenders who made multifamily loans in 2020, including their lending volume, number of loans made and average loan size; and
  • A listing of metropolitan areas and the volume of very-small loans made in each in 2020.

The report is based on data from the MBA 2020 Commercial Multifamily Annual Origination Volume Summation and the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA).  The MBA survey targets dedicated commercial/multifamily originators and covered $442 billion in commercial/multifamily loans in 2020.  The HMDA data adds multifamily loans from banks, thrifts and other institutions that meet certain single-family origination thresholds. When combined, the two datasets provide the most comprehensive assessment of the multifamily lending market available.

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