WASHINGTON, D.C. — According to a survey released by the Mortgage Bankers Association of America (MBA), secondary mortgage market companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac funded the largest share of loans originated by commercial mortgage members of the MBA.

Total reported originations for the first six months of 2001 were $32.6 billion, up more than 30% from the same period last year. The increase is attributed to lending for multifamily properties. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac together funded 28.8% of the dollar volume of loans originated by commercial bankers, with Fannie Mae contributing 19.6% and Freddie Mac 9.2%. The next largest source of funds was private conduits with a 24.3% share.

Officials attribute the rise in all lending to favorable interest rates, but say the property market conditions are particularly strong for the multifamily sector.

"Employment uncertainty is keeping families in rental housing that might otherwise be taking advantage of low home mortgage rates," said Jeanette Rice, chairwoman of MBA’s Commercial Real Estate Finance Research Committee in a statement. "Construction activity is down, helping to keep supply and demand fundamentals favorable."