Commercial and multifamily mortgage loan originations fell by 45% in the first quarter from the previous quarter, according to a report Tuesday from the Mortgage Bankers Association.

The dip in originations was driven by partly by loans against retail properties, which were down 19%, the association's quarterly survey of commercial and multifamily mortgage bankers showed. Multifamily originations fell 17%.

Jamie Woodwell, the MBA's vice president of commercial real estate research, said the drop in originations was partly seasonal.

"Commercial and multifamily borrowing typically starts the year slowly, with less than one-fifth of the annual volume usually done in the first quarter," he said in the report. "Taken together, commercial and multifamily mortgage originations started 2014 at the same pace they started in 2013." Originations were down only 1% from a year earlier.

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