MBA Forecast: 2021 Commercial/Multifamily Lending to Increase 11% to Nearly $500 Billion

The Mortgage Bankers Association expects commercial and multifamily mortgage bankers to close $486 billion in loans backed by income-producing properties in 2021, an 11 percent increase from 2020’s estimated $440 billion, according to its latest forecast.

Total multifamily lending alone, which includes some loans made by small and midsize banks not captured in the overall total, is forecast to rise to $323 billion in 2021 – a 7 percent increase from last year’s estimated $302 billion. MBA anticipates additional increases in lending volumes in 2022, with activity rising to $539 billion in commercial/multifamily mortgage bankers originations and $358 billion in total multifamily lending. 

Jamie Woodwell

“The COVID-19 pandemic took a heavy toll on commercial and multifamily property sales and mortgage originations in 2020,” said Jamie Woodwell, MBA Vice President for Commercial Real Estate Research. “The impacts have varied significantly by property type and capital source, with lodging and retail feeling the greatest downward pressure. The multifamily sector held up far better, driven by refinance activity in government-backed loans.” 

Woodwell said the steep declines in mortgage borrowing and lending seen in 2020 should partially reverse in 2021. “The economic rebound MBA anticipates in the second half of the year should bring greater stability to the markets, but with continued differentiation by property type,” he said. “Much of the path forward will depend on the virus and our confidence and ability to move past it.”

For additional commentary on the pandemic’s impact on the sector, visit MBA’s Commercial/Multifamily Market Intelligence Blog.  MBA’s commercial/multifamily members can download a copy of MBA’s latest Commercial/Multifamily Real Estate Finance Forecast at