Improved fundamentals, a cache of capital and continued innovation in capital markets have converged this year to create a “perfect calm” for commercial real estate financiers.

The Mortgage Bankers Association expects 2006 to set a new record for loan originations — despite predictions that a slowing housing market would hurt commercial real estate.

“There are a number of fronts parked over the commercial/multifamily world that are leading us to some pretty calm seas,” says Jamie Woodwell, MBA's senior director of commercial and multifamily research. The researcher made the remarks during a media luncheon at MBA's CREF 2007 show in San Diego.

The latest MBA figures show an extremely healthy lodging industry has become a lending magnet. Total loan originations for hotels rose 20 percent in the fourth quarter of 2006 compared with the same period a year earlier. Loan originations for office properties climbed 8 percent, followed by industrial (3 percent) and multifamily (2 percent). Loan originations for health care and retail properties dropped 7 percent and 5 percent respectively.