Originations of commercial and multifamily mortgage loans fell 4% in the third quarter from the level recorded a year earlier, although multifamily loan originations rose 14%, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.Loan originations by conduits and commercial banks saw the biggest declines, at 28% and 18%, respectively, the trade group said. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac originations declined less than 1%, while life insurance companies bucked the trend with an 11% increase in originations. Major property types other than multifamily and health care saw origination declines, with office properties leading the falloff with a 31% decline. Originations dropped 20% for retail loans, 18% for hotel loans, and 8% for industrial loans, while health care loan originations skyrocketed 149%, according to the MBA. "In addition to the impact of the credit crunch, it's also important to remember that previous periods included large volumes of originations spawned by large portfolio sales (and resales) and the privatizations of numerous [real estate investment trusts]," said Jamie Woodwell, the MBA's senior director of commercial/multifamily research. The MBA can be found online at http://www.mortgagebankers.org.

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