According to new predictions by the Mortgage Bankers Association, U.S. commercial and multifamily mortgage bankers are expected to close $486 billion of loans backed by income-producing properties in 2021, an 11 percent increase from 2020's estimated volume of $440 billion.
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 total of $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.
"The COVID-19 pandemic took a heavy toll on commercial and multifamily property sales and mortgage originations in 2020," said Jamie Woodwell, MBA's 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 added, "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. Much of the path forward will depend on the virus and our confidence and ability to move past it."