Mortgage loans for commercial and multifamily real estate rose 12.5% in the first quarter from a year earlier, led by retail and office properties, the Mortgage Bankers Association said Tuesday.

Lending to retail borrowers increased 98% and office property loans gained 30%, the trade group said. "There appears to be increasing capital available for commercial mortgages but only limited demand for new mortgages from commercial and multifamily property investors," Jamie Woodwell, the MBA's vice president of commercial real estate research, said in a report.

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