MBA: Commercial/Multifamily Borrowing Down 49% in Third Quarter

(Image courtesy of Cristian Grigore/

Commercial and multifamily mortgage loan originations were 49% lower in the third quarter of 2023 compared to a year ago, and decreased 7% from the second quarter, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Quarterly Survey of Commercial/Multifamily Mortgage Bankers Originations. 

“Borrowing backed by commercial real estate properties declined again in the third quarter,” said Jamie Woodwell, MBA’s Head of Commercial Real Estate Research. “Borrowing and lending were down for every property type and capital source from one year ago. However, compared to this year’s second quarter, volumes were more stable, and some sectors – including industrial properties and life company lenders – showed an uptick in volume.”

Added Woodwell, “Year-to-date CRE mortgage borrowing has fallen 44%, driven by questions about some properties’ fundamentals, uncertainty about property values, and higher and volatile interest rates. Greater certainty around those conditions is a key prerequisite to breaking the logjam of transaction activity.”


Decreases in originations for all major property types led to the overall drop in commercial/multifamily lending volumes when compared to the third quarter of 2022. There was a 76% year-over-year decrease in the dollar volume of loans for health care properties, a 52% decrease for hotel properties, a 51% decrease for retail properties, a 50% decrease for multifamily properties, a 49% decrease for office loans, and a 35% decrease for industrial properties.

Among investor types, the dollar volume of loans originated for depositories decreased by 73% year-over-year. There was a 55% decrease for investor-driven lenders, a 27% decrease in government sponsored enterprises (GSEs – Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) loans, a 5% decrease for commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS), and a 4% decrease in the dollar volume of life insurance company loans.


On a quarterly basis, third-quarter originations for health care properties decreased 28% compared to second-quarter 2023. There was a 20% decrease in originations for retail properties, and a 16% decrease for multifamily properties. Originations for hotel properties increased 2%, originations for office properties increased 4%, and originations for industrial properties increased 36%. 

Among investor types, between the second and third quarter of 2023, the dollar volume of loans for CMBS decreased 21%, loans for depositories decreased 19%, originations for investor-driven lenders decreased 13%, and loans for GSEs decreased 4%. The dollar volume of loans for life insurance companies increased by 18%.

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