Freddie Mac also had a record-setting year in 2008. Despite being seized by the federal government and put under the oversight of a conservator, Freddie Mac invested a record $24 billion in its multifamily whole loan and bond guarantee business. That's up from $22 billion in 2007.

“Amid all the destruction in the financial marketplace, one source of liquidity is still here, and it's called Freddie Mac,” says Mike May, senior vice president of multifamily business for the agency.

However, like Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac's total volume of multifamily investment has been cut almost in half as the agency abandoned its business of buying bonds and tax credits.

In 2008, the agency bought just $1.4 billion in commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) and zero low-income housing tax credits, making for a total multifamily investment of $25.4 billion.

In comparison, in 2007, Freddie bought $450 million in tax credits and $22 billion in CMBS, bringing Freddie's total multifamily investments for that year to $44.7 billion.

Freddie Mac is growing increasingly focused on investing in loans that can then be securitized as mortgage-backed securities. Freddie created $415 million in loans through its new Capital Markets Execution program in 2008 and built a pipeline of hundreds of millions of dollars more to close in early 2009.