Fannie Mae participated in financing $27.2 billion in multifamily rental housing during the first half of 2007—a new record for six-month production—the Carlsbad, Calif.-based mortgage company announced July 23. Debt financing by Fannie Mae's Delegated Underwriting and Servicing lenders provided nearly half ($14 billion) of the company's overall total, which also was powered by multifamily bond purchases and investments in low-income housing tax credits through syndication partners.

The historic number also takes into account Fannie Mae's commercial mortgage backed securities volume, which has been included in the company's total investment figure just since 2006. The company only reports line-item CMBS volume on an annual basis.

Still, total DUS volume for 2006 was $15.8 billion, suggesting that Fannie is on track for a robust year in multifamily lending regardless of the point of origin of its investment dollars. “We had a very strong first half of the year from our DUS lenders, and we are seeing a very strong second half of the year as well,” says Fannie Mae head of multifamily production Heidi McKibben. “We are seeing very strong pipelines and very strong deal activity, and we are very much still in the market and will continue to be for the rest of the year.

“In most of our markets, there is a tremendous lack of affordable housing in the multifamily space,” she says. “With more people moving back into the rental market because of what is happening on the single-family side, lack of affordability [will] continue.”