Multifamily/Commercial Lending Expected to Fall in 2022 Due to Ongoing Economic Uncertainty

Loan volume should rebound next year after a decline related to economic uncertainty, according to MBA.

Source: MBA

Multifamily/Commercial borrowing and lending started the year on strong footing, but higher rates and economic uncertainty have impacted demand and activity during the second half of the year. According to our updated baseline forecast released earlier this month, total commercial and multifamily mortgage borrowing and lending is expected to fall to $766 billion this year, down 14 percent from 2021 totals ($891 billion).

We continue to see significant changes, volatility, and uncertainty in the space, equity, and debt markets that drive commercial real estate values and transaction volumes. There was a record level of borrowing and lending during the first half of this year. Given market changes, we forecast a significant slowdown in the second half of the year – driven by rising interest rates and capitalization rates and uncertainty among buyers, sellers, and other stakeholders about where market values may lie. As we have noted before, most commercial real estate market fundamentals remain strong, with significant increases in the incomes and values of many properties in recent years. These factors are why MBA expects loan demand to begin to bounce back in 2023 and 2024.

Multifamily lending alone (which is included in the total figures) is expected to drop to $455 billion in 2022 – a 7 percent decline from last year’s record of $487 billion. MBA anticipates borrowing and lending will rebound in 2023 to $848 billion in total commercial real estate lending and $451 billion in multifamily lending.

MBA’s CREF Forecast is based on our baseline economic forecast, but the outlook is particularly uncertain right now. Different macroeconomic paths could lead to very different outcomes around the demand for and supply of commercial mortgage debt. Should the economy enter a recession, which has become considerably more likely, commercial and multifamily borrowing and lending would likely be further constrained.

To see our latest CREF Forecast, please click here.

Jamie Woodwell is the Mortgage Bankers Association’s vice president of commercial real estate research.

You May Also Like