Originations of commercial and multifamily loans by mortgage bankers were only 3% higher in the fourth quarter of 2006 than in the fourth quarter of 2005, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.Hotel properties were at the forefront, with a 20% increase in loans on hotels from the level of a year earlier, followed by office properties, which saw an 8% increase in originations over the same period, the MBA reported at its 17th Annual Commercial Real Estate Finance Convention in San Diego. Lending on retail and health care properties was down 5% and 7%, respectively, in the fourth quarter compared with levels recorded a year earlier. Breaking down the figures by investor type, mortgage bankers' originations for commercial mortgage-backed securities conduits, and other securitization vehicles, were up 32% compared with those of the fourth quarter of 2005. But originations were down 7% for commercial banks, 30% for life insurance companies, and 4% for government-sponsored enterprises, the MBA reported. However, compared with the third quarter of 2006, fourth-quarter origination activity showed increased lending activity on multifamily, office, retail, industrial, and health properties. Originations were up 27% compared with those of the third quarter. The MBA can be found online at http://www.mortgagebankers.org.

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