Many of the credit problems that began with consumer home loans last summer seeped into the commercial markets as well. But compared to its peers, multifamily held up fairly well. flat's the word from the Mortgage Banker's Association Quarterly Survey of Commercial/Multifamily Mortgage Bankers Originations.

Compared to the fourth quarter of 2006, there was a 73 percent decrease in loans for office properties, a 50 percent decrease in loans for industrial properties, and a 38 percent drop in loans for retail. Multifamily, on the other hand, only saw a 7 percent decrease.

Hotel properties, meanwhile, fared the best, seeing a 349 percent jump due to some large portfolio transactions. Multifamily also saw a 25 percent increase in loans in the fourth quarter, compared to the third quarter of 2007.

What saved multifamily in comparison to its peers were the government-sponsored enterprises of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In the first half of 2007, there were 17 percent more originations from Freddie and Fannie compared to 2006, according to the MBA. In the second half of 2007, that number rose to 47 percent.

“The CMBS market was widely affected by the border credit crunch,” says Jamie Woodwell, MBA's senior director of commercial/multifamily research.

The good news is that Woodwell does think the CMBS markets will eventually return.

“The mortgage performance continues to be very strong,” he says. “CMBS delinquencies are at a record low.”